Initiatives intended to fight child labor yield good results in the rural area

9 . JUN . 2021 Releases

June 2021 – On the 12th of June 2002, the International Labor Organization (ILO) launched the global day intended to remind people of the importance of fighting child labor all over the world. However, in the tobacco sector, the subject began to unfold in 1998, with the first initiatives of the Future Is Now Program!, launched by the Interstate Tobacco Industry Union (SindiTabaco).

Considered as a success case in family farming, the tobacco sector pioneered the fight against child labor in the rural area, and is the only one to require proof of school enrollment of the tobacco farmers’ school-age children and certificate of school attendance at the renewal of the contract between the companies and the farmers, within the Tobacco Production Integrated System.

According to SindiTabaco president  Iro Schünke, the first actions intended to create awareness of the importance of school attendance. “At that time, the companies got organized in contact with the municipalities in order to actively solve one-off questions related to school evasion, mainly caused by the lack of schools or deficient transport systems affecting farmers’ children”, he explains.

As the years went by, these initiatives began to evolve and ended up giving rise to the Growing Up Right Institute, which has already benefited 500 teenagers from the rural area. The Institute pioneered professional learning programs for the young in the countryside, qualifying adolescents through rural management and entrepreneurship courses, given in the shift opposite to regular school hours.

“For most of the young, besides being an opportunity for developing their skills, without having to leave their communities, it is also their first formal job, as the program complies with the Learning Law and the young participants receive a salary proportional to 20 hours a week. It is a manner for them to spend their time in the course and at school, far away from tasks inappropriate for their age”, Schünke, who is also the director president of the Growing Up Right Institute, explains.



1998: the launch of the program The Future Is Now! It was when the pact for the eradication of child labor was signed. The actions of the program were split into the following projects: Child and Land Protector, Industry-School Partnerships, Happy is a Child who Studies.

2008: Term of Commitment with the Rio Grande do Sul Public Labor Prosecution was signed. In March 2011, a similar agreement was signed with the Public Labor Prosecution of Brasília, with jurisdiction over Santa Catarina and Paraná, A vast awareness campaign is an integral part of this agreement, with publicity spots and seminars focused on tobacco farmers.

2010: IBGE census shows that the highest reductions of child labor occurred in the small-scale farms of the tobacco growers in the Country, in comparison with data from the previous census, conducted in the year 2000.

2011: the then Future Is Now! Had its name changed to Growing Up Right. Its scope of action was stimulated in terms of incentive to the education of farmers’ children, especially teenagers, as new legislation banned under-18-year olds from performing any agricultural activity, including tobacco farming.

2012: training, with the participation of the International Labor Organization (ILO), of the upwards of 1.2 thousand agricultural extension workers  of the tobacco companies, in order for them to encourage tobacco farmers’ children to attend school, thus keeping them away from any irregular child labor.

2015: Growing Up Right Institute was founded, at the initiative of the Interstate Tobacco Industry Union (SindiTabaco) and its associate companies, with support and adhesion from people involved with education and with the fight against child labor, especially in tobacco growing regions, in the South Region of the Country

2016: The Rural Professional Learning Program, of the Growing Up Right Institute, began to offer the course ‘Entrepreneurship in Multipurpose Agriculture – Rural Management’ to the rural teenagers.

2017: Us for Them Program – The Female Voice of the Countryside was created. In this program, young rural girls produce radio bulletins which, aired by partners, are focused on such themes as child labor and gender, specifically for rural communities.

2020: The Growing Up Right Institute receives the Innovare Award, as homage and national recognition for its initiatives in the fight against child labor.

2021: consolidation of the Best Practices in Entrepreneurship towards Education, focused on teachers of schools partners of the Growing Up Right Institute.

Get to know the gr Group Up Right Institute

Please keep an eye on SindiTabaco’s awareness campaign


Arthur Ianhez – – (11) 3169-9300 / (11) 97375-2413
Eliana Stülp Kroth – – (51) 3713-1777 / (51) 9708-5539
Thais Thomaz – – (11) 3169-9373