EXPO | Made by children. Child Labour Then and Now.

Campagnebeeld (c) Emilie Vercruysse
Sun, 20/11/2016 - Sun, 07/01/2018

Children are supposed to play and go to school. Only adults are expected to work and earn money. End of discussion. Or not?    

If you thought that these days child labour is something that only occurs in ‘the South’, you are mistaken. Despite the introduction of compulsory education in Belgium in 1914 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, child labour is still the subject of controversy worldwide.

Striking personal stories 

The exhibition gives child labour a face. Fourteen children tell their stories. Norbertine, aged 14, works in the fur-cutting workshop in Lokeren. Twelve-year-old Juliana has a job in a flax mill in Ghent. Joseph Balthazar and Maria Daeninck, both aged 8, work for a printer. Some of the stories are of children here in Belgium, some are of children from the South, some stories relate to the past, others to the present. But whether set in the textile industry, the brickworks or showbiz, each of those stories is heart-rending. Has it occurred to you that your T-shirt may have been ‘made by children’ or the cobalt in your smartphone mined by seven-year-olds in the Congo? Gripping photographs and personal possessions illustrate the lives of these children.  

Milestones in history

Will the day come when the world is free of child labour? The exhibition traces the vision of historians, lawyers and educationalists down the ages. An interactive timeline shows the main milestones in the history of child labour in Belgium. How did the social laws come about? What is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child? What does ILO stand for?   


·       Interactive tour with guide and tablet + educational material

·       For pupils in the third grade of primary school: guided tour + city walk on the theme of children’s rights

·       For secondary school pupils: guided tour + documentary ‘The True Cost’ about consumption and the clothing industry


- Guided tour of the highlights and aperitif every third Sunday of the month at 11.00 hrs

- Soirées (themed talks, walks and documentaries) on Thursdays from March 2017

Check out miatgent.be/kalender


For guided tours: BoekjeBezoek T 09 210 10 75, Mondays to Fridays from 9 to 18.00 hrs