Sensitive to the special needs and achievements of

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sensitive to the special needs and achievements of working children, who may be very mixed in terms of aptitude, background, age and experience, need to he devised. Such approaches allow children to practice 20 Promoting the Best Interests of Working Children
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and learn on their own terms, using their own language, concepts and understandings. They build children's capacity to deal with new and adverse circumstances and increase their confidence and self-esteem. With education of this type, schools could stop being part of the child labour problem their failures propelling children into full-time and inappropriate work and become part of the solution. WHAT NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS CAN DO Most of the social vision, political pressure and methodological innovation for protecting children against workplace exploitation and abuse has in the past come from non-governmental organizations. Now they have to play an equally prominent role in making child labour thinking and action more child-centred. In both developing and industrialized countries, they must educate both government and public opinion about the concepts and methods required to address child work in ways serving children's best interests. They also must provide leadership in developing the practical tools and guidelines necessary to implement a child-centred approach. Some of these are now in the process of development, but much more such work is needed. For example, the techniques at present available for distinguishing detrimental from harmless work are not always adequate to the task, especially in regard to the measurement of psychosocial impacts. Urgent priority needs to be given to the development of tools and procedures for assessing psychosocial distress that can be used in different social and cultural contexts. The methodology of working children's participation is another area needing priority attention. Work is needed to collect and analyze current experience and to develop and field test practical procedures for systematically bringing children's views into programme planning and evaluation. Some progress has been made in adapting participatory techniques (for example, Participatory Rural Appraisal) originally developed for adults to the challenge of accurately hearing and recording children's views regarding their work and the usefulness of programmes to assist them, but reliable methods devised specifically for use with children may 23 need to he devised. By extension, there also is a need to create special opportunities and mechanisms for working children's voices to be beard in national and international policy discussions formulating child labour laws and standards, whether through their own representative organizations, school-based consultations, national workshops or other means.
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