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The Power of School

November 18, 2010

Jane Stewart, special representative and director of the International Labour Organization’s office to the United Nations, recently shared on NPR’s TALK OF THE NATION about the importance of education as a means of preventing child exploitation.  (Listen to the show or read the transcript here.) The show’s host, Neil Conan, pointed out that a lack of education perpetuates the cycle of poverty.

Ms. Stewart’s response:

“[O]ne of the things that we know to be true is the more education a young child has the opportunity to have, the better able he or she is to participate in healthy youth employment activities, and then go on to be a real contributor, supporting themselves and their families.”

Ms. Stewart’s primary area of expertise is preventing the exploitation of children for labor purposes, but the principle she outlines holds true across the board: education not only reduces risk dramatically, but makes it extremely likely that the child will grow up to break the cycle of poverty and exploitation for themselves and their children.

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