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Is Education the key to the SDGs?

Advancing towards the Sustainable Development Goals: Education and Fighting Child Labour

Access to quality education is one of the key tools in the fight against child labour, but one in every five children, adolescents and youth is still out of school around the world, according to UNESCO. Real progress can only be seen against child labour by combatting the root causes, like poverty, lack of education opportunities, cultural acceptance and poor infrastructure.

As Goal 4 in the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by world leaders 4 years ago this month, education may also be the key to achieving many other SDGs by 2030.

Education combats poverty (SDG 1)

For every additional year that children complete of school on average, a country’s gross domestic product rises by almost 0.4%. But what does that mean for individuals? The Global Partnership for Education reports that a child’s lifetime earning potential goes up by 10% for each year of school he or she completes – up to double that for girls!

Estimates also show that over 170 million people could escape poverty if all children left school with basic reading skills. This would mean a 12% drop in poverty.

Education makes us healthier (SDGs 2 and 3)

When parents are more educated, children are healthier. If all young adults completed primary education, we could expect 7 million fewer HIV infections and a 36% reduction in malaria according to the Malala Fund. UNESCO also data shows that more educated mothers have lower risks for complications at birth, fewer children overall and give their children more nutritious food.

Education helps change attitudes

Perhaps most importantly, education prepares children and young people to combat the problems of tomorrow. Education leads to more political participation, reduces domestic violence and the risk of war, and helps families and communities better prepare for crises and natural disasters.

Committed to Education

The ECLT Foundation believes that no child should be working in a field at the expense of his or her future and we keep education as a top priority in all of our projects. Since 2011, we have helped over 27,000 children out of child labour and back into school and improved facilities at more than 16 schools. We have ensured that over 17,000 children get a proper meal at school, so they can concentrate on their studies and not on their stomachs. Over 3,300 young people were trained in a new job skill, opening new economic doors for their futures.
ECLT supports SDG 17 for partnerships, by bringing together governments, companies, farming communities and children themselves in our work to make a better life for children, farmers and families.