8.3 MEANS OF COMMUNICATION
Any message communicated from the sender to the receiver goes through one or more channels of communication. Some more traditional channels have been replaced by television, radio, newspapers, magazines and books.
But the traditional channels, such as the family, story-telling, folklore and theatre are still effective for delivering the message. An example from the United Republic of Tanzania (box 8.2) shows that drama is an interesting and powerful channel for conveying the message. Other countries, such as Pakistan, have used street theatre by children and puppet shows by professional groups to get the message across to the masses. The family is a useful channel for passing on ideas, attitudes and beliefs. On many issues such as child labour, the ideas can flow in either direction: from the parents to the children or vice versa.
In addition, there are other channels which can reach large audiences. Among these are billboard displays, specialty items (T-shirts, pens, bags, and many others), special walks, rallies and marches. A recent example of the latter was the Global March, culminating in Geneva in June 1998 at the time of the International Labour Conference (see box 9.5). The Internet is another new channel reaching world audiences.
Channels that do not reach a large audience, but that are useful because of their specialized nature, are seminars, meetings and workshops which have a very specific message and audience. These include meetings on thematic issues, such as national policies and plans of action on the elimination of child labour, bonded labour, and the role of employers, workers and NGOs in eliminating child labour. They are also an effective channel for orienting and training specific target groups, such as labour inspectors, programme implementors and so on.
Among the more innovative and more appealing channels are comic books depicting the plight of children caught in exploitative working situations and stories about working children.
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