Core values and principles
ASN strongly believes in the following principles with regard to its child labour eradication and universal education programs:
- All children must attend full-time formal day schools.
Not night schools or non-formal education centers.
- Any child out of school is a child laborer.
The definition of child labor therefore encompasses every non-school going child, irrespective of whether the child is engaged in wage or non-wage work, working for the family or for others, employed in hazardous occupations, employed on daily wages or on a contract basis as bonded laborer.
- All work/labor is hazardous; it harms the overall growth and development of the child.
- There must be total abolition of child labor.
Any law regulating child work is unacceptable.
- Any justification perpetuating the existence of child labor must be condemned.
Arguments about the ‘harsh reality’ of the family, poverty, the necessity of children’s earnings for the family, lack of interest among parents, poor quality of teachers and schools, irrelevance of education in providing employment, loss of relevant skills among educated children, are all anti-children and go against their real development.
- Belief in people’s capacity and participatory models
ASN believes in the capacity of poor and marginalized communities to make a difference in their own lives—if given opportunity, encouragement and tools. They can have a significant impact on improving their own lives and livelihoods.
- Respect for local culture and communities
ASN believes that gaining the respect and trust of local communities is a reciprocal process, and that unless local culture and customs are valued and respected, it is difficult to work both with and within communities. ASN encourages and promotes open dialogue and rapport between staff and beneficiaries as a means of gaining local trust and respect, and promoting participation and equity.
- Caste, political ideology, ethnicity and gender-based discrimination have no place in development activities
ASN makes a conscious effort to eradicate all discrimination based on caste, ethnicity, gender and political ideology. ASN condemns all forms of discrimination.