Child labor is one of the biggest problems of our time: the United Nations estimates that between 100 and 250 million children around the world are forced to work – making a care-free childhood and a school education impossible.
Child labor is still widespread in Brazil and India. While just under 7 percent of children aged 5 to 14 work in Brazil (6.8 percent according to a report published in May 2006 by the International Labour Organization), the corresponding figure in India is even higher. Bayer actively supports renowned organizations such as the “Abrinq Foundation for Children’s Rights” in Brazil and the Naandi Foundation in India in the fight against child labor.
With the help of Bayer CropScience and as part of the company’s Child Care Program in India, the Naandi Foundation has set up 19 Creative Learning Centers in the state of Andhra Pradesh. In these centers, children who previously worked in agriculture or other sectors are prepared for reintegration into the Indian school education system. So far, more than 1,300 children have been enrolled in these bridge schools, of whom about 1,000 have since progressed to the regular Indian school system. In addition, Bayer CropScience has opened a Vocational Training Center near Hyderabad, India, where former child laborers can attend one-year training courses to prepare them for more highly qualified employment in agriculture.