Day against child labor: more than thousand reasons to celebrate

6 . JUN . 2024 Releases

Day against child labor: more than thousand reasons to celebrate

With an innovative format, Growing Up Right Institute fights child labor offering a professional qualification program to adolescents in the rural setting.

June 2024 – The 12th of June, very remembered as Valentine’s Day, is also a day of reflection on child labor. For some sectors, as is the case of tobacco, work is only allowed from the age of eighteen onward. In the cities, these adolescents have access to different qualification models, but in the rural areas opportunities are scarce. 


“When we started the awareness program on the theme, advising the farmers about the ban on the use of minors under 18 years old on tobacco farming activities, we were thoroughly questioned by farmers who got concerned about the idleness of their children. Many of these teenagers, aged 14 or over, are beginning to express their interest in earning income. We tried to get answers from public authorities, but very little was achieved”, SindiTabaco president Iro Schünke recalls.  


It was at that moment that we figured out a solution. With financial support from the companies associated with SindiTabaco, and intellectual support from great minds joining efforts towards the same purpose, the Growing Up Right Institute was idealized in 2014 and founded on the 23rd of April 2015. At the moment, nine years in operation, the Growing Up Right Institute has already qualified upwards of one thousand teenagers, in 20 municipalities in the South Region of Brazil, which were the venue for 54 groups that attended the Rural Professional Learning Program.


With the quotas of the associate companies and supporters, and from all industries of the tobacco sector, the Growing Up Right Institute provides teenage farm boys and girls, aged 14 – 17, coming from tobacco producing families, with a contract as young apprentices for them to attend the Rural Entrepreneurship and Rural Administration course, in the shift opposite to regular school hours, thus keeping them away from activities improper for their age. 


“What makes the big difference is the innovative format created by the Institute, validated by the Ministry of Labor, which uses the Learning Law to remunerate the rural teenagers while they get qualified in their own communities. It is a powerful weapon in the fight against child labor and, to some extent, responsible for the decrease in rural exodus, considering that the entire content of the course is focused on the reality where they live and ends up changing the perception of the participants on the opportunities the farm itself and the community offer. I get emotional for the objectives we are accomplishing”, Shünke stresses, and he is also the president of the Institute.


Pay attention to the statement given by Iro Schünke about the initiatives of the Growing Up Right Institute on


Know more: