Raising awareness is the first critical step toward the elimination of abusive and exploitative child labor worldwide. To this end, the UICHR undertook, as part of the Child Labor Research Initiative, the development of innovative curriculum modules for students at the pre-college and college levels, as well as materials devoted to general public education on the subject. Relevant materials were researched and assembled by multi-disciplinary teams, and then tested and revised in live classroom settings and public seminars for labor unions, teachers and the general public. The specifics of each module are as follows:
Pre-college Child Labor Modules
Children and young adults have an important role to play in eliminating abusive and exploitative child labor. It therefore is important for the world community to do all it can to involve them in this struggle meaningfully. An important starting-point is the secondary school, and in this connection the UICHR worked with a team of highly experienced teachers and education specialists to develop six replicable child labor course modules for inclusion in secondary-school classrooms.
The first module introduces students to the concept of human rights and, particularly, children's rights. The remaining five modules focus on specific "worst forms" of child labor: hazardous work, child slavery, child soldiers, trafficking for sexual exploitation, and use of children in drug trade. All are designed to enable teachers of economics, social studies, world history, and other subjects (e.g., literature) to integrate them into their regular courses.
College-Level Course on Child Labor
College and university students are important catalysts for social change. Throughout history, students in the United States and elsewhere have organized around critical issues and have brought much needed attention to different forms of human suffering. The UICHR is committed to raising awareness about child labor and to engaging this group of young adults who potentially can play an important role in the global effort to eliminate it. As part of the CLRI's agenda, the UICHR worked to develop a comprehensive course on child labor . The course is currently being offered at The University of Iowa during spring semesters.
Child Labor Public Education Program (CLPEP)
Through CLPEP and in cooperation with the UICHR, the UI Labor Center is building child labor issues into its standard course offerings for trade unionists as well as expanding educational outreach to churches, schools, and community groups. Led by Dan Holub, Director of the Labor Center and member of the UICHR Executive Council, CLPEP researchs, creates, and disseminates popular education materials on child labor and facilitating public education workshops on this subject.
The public education materials  developed by the UI Labor Center are available from the center's web site.
The pre-college curriculum on child labor was developed by a team of multi-disciplinary specialists and educators led by Professor Greg Hamot of the UI Department of Education. The college level course on child labor was developed by Professor Rex Honey of the UI Department of Geography, in collaboration with UICHR Deputy Director Chivy Sok. Dan Holub, Director of the Labor Center and member of the UICHR Executive Council, led the Labor Center team responsible for developing effective popular education materials on child labor and facilitated numerous public education workshops on this subject.
Research and testing of the curriculum modules was completed in the Fall of 2004. The completed materials are available in PDF format from the links below. Visit the UICHR home page  for news on further educational innovations and curriculum development efforts.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that about 246 million children, between the ages of 5-17, are engaged in forms of work that interfere with a child's education and are otherwise detrimental to a child's growth and development.
The roots of child labor are complex and daunting. Extreme poverty, cultural practices, family traditions, gender discrimination, inadequate educational alternatives, insufficient societal awareness all of these and more are contributing factors.
Child labor affects everyone, and thus each person has an important role to play in combating it. The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) believes that all sectors of society are needed to promote the social change to combat child labor successfully. Therefore, a substantial portion of the UICHR's Child Labor Research Initiative (CLRI) is dedicated to developing educational materials appropriate to raising awareness about child labor—particularly the worst forms of child labor—among pre-college students, college-level students, and, in addition, the general public as represented by churches, community groups, and especially trade unionists.