Newsletter - June 2015

Message from Elie Jouen: New Global March Chairperson

Global March Gets a New Board Structure

In March, the Global March board and members of the International Secretariat convened in Kathmandu, Nepal for its Annual Board Meeting. Following intense discussions over one and a half days covering a range of issues including Global March’s vision for 2016-2020, the Board unanimously decided on the following key changes in the Board structure:

  • Mr. Elie Jouen, (Former Dy. Secretary - Education International (EI), Board Member - Global Campaign for Education (GCE), France  and Founding Member, Global March) elected as the new Chairperson,
  • Ms. Ana Vasquez Gardini (Director General - CESIP (Centro de Estudios Sociales y Publicaciones), Peru & Regional Coordinator of Global March, South America) elected as the new Vice Chair, and
  • Mr. Kailash Satyarthi (Nobel Peace Laureate 2014, Founding Member & Chairperson, Global March) elected as the Honorary President.
Global March looks forward to seeking renewed direction from its new Board structure towards achieving its vision towards a child-friendly world in the coming days.

Elie JOUENDear colleagues and friends,

It was indeed a matter of great honour and pride for Global March to see their Chairperson, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, being awarded the Nobel Prize in 2014.

With such new high-level position demanding a lot of travels, visits and conferences all around the world, it has quickly become quite difficult for Kailash to combine the two positions.

So, during the last Global March Board meeting at Kathmandu (Nepal) in late March 2015, this situation has been discussed at Kailash's request and new structural changes in Global March Board has been decided:

The following decision has been taken:

  • Kailash Saryarthi: Honorary President of Global March
  • Elie Jouen: New Chairperson
  • Ana Vasquez Gardini: New Vice-Chairperson

After this decision, I as the new Chairperson have expressed my congratulations to Kailash for the intense work done to fight child labour for several years.

Many of you have known me for years. I have been a teacher in France, and was formerly the Dy. General Secretary of Education International (EI), a worldwide organisation of unions and associations of teachers and educational employees. For more than 10 years now, I have been on the Global March Board.

My colleague Ana Vasquez Gardini, the Director General of CESIP (Centro de Estudios Sociales y Publicationes) in Peru, joins me as the new Vice-Chairperson.

Kailash on the eve of the World Day Against Child Labour spoke at the 104th session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, calling on the ILO constituents to make child labour history. He told delegates that while the numbers in child labour had fallen, to about 168 million, child trafficking and slavery was not decreasing. “We cannot ignore this,” he said. “We have to respond.”

Raising the demand of the End Child Slavery campaign, he said that the abolition of slavery, and in particular child slavery should be specifically included in the international development agenda and in the Sustainable Development Goals that are expected to be agreed by United Nations members later this year.

We firmly believe, that even though important progress has been made to reduce child labour, the Global March needs to redouble its campaigns and activities to convince public opinions and political leaders to bring pro-child policies and programmes to eliminate child labour and ensure quality education for all children. 

I look forward to your continued partnership and support for our collective goal.

Elie Jouen

Parliamentarians Unite Across Borders for Protection and Promotion of Children’s Rights

In a joint initiative by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and Brazilian Senator Christovam Buarque, 20 parliamentarians from 9 countries came together in Kathmandu, Nepal for the first session of ‘Parliamentarians Without Borders for Children’s Rights’ (PWB). The one-and-a-half day conference hosted by Nepali Parliamentarian Dilli Chaudhary and Global March, was held with the objective of working together with multiple stakeholders in order to eliminate pressing concerns around children’s basic rights nationally and globally.

The event inaugurated by the Hon’ble Speaker of Constituent Assembly of Nepal, Mr. Subash Chandra Nembang, also witnessed the presence of Amina J.  Mohammed, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General for Post-2015 Development Planning, Karin Hulshof, Regional Director, UNICEF and Christian Manhart, Head of Office and UNESCO Representative, Nepal. The discussions focussed on a range of issues such as child slavery, child trafficking and the need for equitable, inclusive and quality education for every child.

The event concluded with the formation of the Steering Group with representatives from every country and the finalisation of the Outcome Document to build and sustain the momentum of this movement in the coming years.


On March 25, Nepal was struck by one of the most horrific devastations in recent times. A fortnight later, the country is left with deaths exceeding 7,000, more than double the number injured and a nation that waits to be resurrected.

Our partners in Nepal, Backward Society Education (BASE) and Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Centre (CWIN) have been working relentlessly towards the rescue operations and rehabilitation of victims in the country.

We urge you to come forward and extend your support to Nepal at this crucial hour.

Parliamentarians Stand Up for the Rights of Children in Nepal

In the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake, Members of Parliament (MPs) of ‘Parliamentarians Without Borders for Children’s Rights’ (PWB) came together to demand a call for action for protecting the children of Nepal who stand vulnerable and exposed at this crucial hour.

Through the platform of PWB, Parliamentarians have demanded from government and international bodies, to not only allocate sufficient financial aid but also strengthen law enforcement mechanisms to prevent serious crimes against children such as trafficking, bonded labour and commercial sexual exploitation. By urging global citizens to report violations of law and law offenders, the Parliamentarians have called for consolidated action to stand up for the children, the future of every nation.

To read their "Call to Action", click here

Global March Hands over Global Petition on End Child Slavery Week to UN Secretary General

It was a proud moment for Global March as their Chairperson and Nobel Peace Laureate, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi met with the UN Secretary General (UNSG), Mr. Ban Ki-Moon at the launch of the Young UN@70 in New Delhi and handed over the global petition in support of the inclusion of child slavery in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The End Child Slavery Week (ECSW) is an annual initiative by Global March and other anti-slavery organisations. The first week of action under ECSW was formally launched in London by Kailash Satyarthi on the 19th of November, 2014 and observed across the globe from 20-26 November. Through the campaign, Global March and partner organisations has been able to mobilise 550,000 signatures for the petition with one person standing up for ten child slaves.

More recently, the ECSW movement received a renewed momentum when the recommendations of the ECSW petition (demanding the inclusion of child slavery in the Sustainable Development Goals) by Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on the Post-2015 Development Planning.

As policy makers progress towards the finalisation of the SDGs at the United Nations General Assembly in September, it is time for global citizens to unite once again in their support to the cause of child slavery.

Stand up against child slavery. Sign the Petition. Spread the Word.

12th Education For All Global Monitoring Report” - Report Card on Global Education for past 15 years launched in New Delhi

The 12th Global Monitoring Report (GMR) “Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges”  launched in New Delhi, India provides a comprehensive assessment of the progress made since 2000 towards the achievement of the Education For All (EFA) goals agreed upon in the Dakar Framework.

Speaking at the launch of the EFA GMR, Nobel Peace Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi said, “When one door of a classroom opens for a child, a million doors of opportunities open up. There is no other powerful tool than education to break the shackles of mental and social slavery. Education is the pre-requisite for social and economic justice, sustainable societies and effective democracy. There is no source of light as bright as education”. He also emphasised on the importance of a strong political will, sufficient budgetary allocation for education, proactive civil society and a sensitised and engaged community for ensuring that no child remains bereft of education.

With the 2015 EFA goals coming to an end, it is vital that the post- 2015 education goals are clearly defined, robust, realistic and well resourced. It is important that the children left behind in 2015 are prioritised in the post-2015 education goals. While we must applaud the progress made in the last fifteen years, let us not ignore the 57 million children who still remain out-of-school. Without doubt, the only way to secure a brighter future is a renewed commitment to quality, inclusive and equitable education.

To read the EFA GMR Report, click here
Partner Activities

Forging Civil Society Action Against Child Domestic Labour: A Training Workshop for Civil Society Organisations in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Continuing its focus on the issue of child domestic labour (CDL), Global March, with the support of the Commonwealth Foundation has undertaken a project on ‘Forging civil society action against child domestic labour (CDL) to combat the gender disadvantage’ with the objective of strengthening civil society response in South Asia, particularly in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In March 2015, Global March, along with its partner in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum organised a one and a half day training workshop in Dhaka for civil society organisations in Bangladesh. The training was focussed on building the capacities of CSOs for carrying out sustained policy advocacy action thus building the momentum for favourable amendments in the legislations protecting the interests and wellbeing of child domestic labourers in Bangladesh. Particular focus was laid on pushing for the finalisation of the draft ‘Domestic Workers Protection and Welfare Policy 2010’ and the ratification of ILO Convention 189 on ‘Decent Work for Domestic Workers’ by Bangladesh.

The training used a methodology that involved analysis of legal case studies from India, using of advocacy tools, group discussions and interactive exercises and witnessed an active participation from the 35 participants representing not just child rights organisations but also other connected issues such as women’s rights, education, trafficking and legal aid.

Details of Training on Pakistan to be added – GODH has not yet sent the details

To know more about the project, click here

Dialogue Between Civil Society and Policy Makers for the Elimination of Child Labour

In March 2015, Global March and its partner in India, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) brought together Parliamentarians, policy-makers and civil society organisations at a conference held in New Delhi, India to mobilise efforts for a unified demand for a strong child-labour law and ensure the passage of the pending Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Bill, 2012 in the then upcoming session of the Parliament.  This activity was generously supported by the British High Commission.

The dialogue was graced by Mr. Bandaru Dattatreya, Union Minister of State for Labour & Employment, representatives across party lines such as Bhartiya Janta Party, Congress (I), Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi, Congress and Janta Dal (U).

Addressing the gathering, Kailash Satyarthi said, “We need to put children first. A child in need of care and protection; trapped in labour cannot afford to wait for a single day.” He added, “I urge the Parliament of India to pass the Child Labour Bill. I demand complete ban on all forms of child labour bringing the law in sync with Right to Education Act. I further demand that rehabilitation be made part of the same law.”

Progress on proposed amendments to Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act (CLPRA) and the Juvenile Justice Act

To provide for the protection of children from all kinds of economic exploitation, and also to provide for their access to elementary education, the Union Cabinet has cleared proposed amendments to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 in May, 2015. Amendments include total ban on child labour upto the age of 14 years, bringing it in sync with the Right To Education Act, ban on hazardous forms of child labour upto 18 years, stricter punishment for offenders, making it a cognizable offence, increased fine of up to INR 50,000, provisions for rehabilitation of rescued child through the constitution of district level rehabilitation fund.

New provisions in Juvenile Justice Act 2014 passed by the Upper House of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) India

Various new provisions that enhance protection available to children, have been approved by the Upper House of Parliament, India, in the JJ Act 2014 which include but are not restricted to the following:

  • including ‘a child at imminent risk of marriage’ under the provisions of ‘a child in need of protection and care’.
  • new crimes against children have been included such as corporal punishment,  engagement of child in arms conflict, non-registration of Children Homes and Child Care Institution, giving up a child for illegal adoption and buying and selling of a child.
  • postulating types of offenses including 'Heinous', 'Serious' and 'Petty' offenses and laying down a system of 'Checks and Balances' to ensure that the rights of 'Children in Conflict with Law' are not being violated.
  • to create a government web portal and an online database on missing children


Global March strongly condemns the dastardly attack at the Garissa University campus in April 2015 which claimed 147 lives, mostly students. The attack comes shortly after the Peshawar school massacre, both of which cast a dark spell on the future of education.  

The month of April was also a grim reminder of the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram from the town of Chibok a year ago.

Demanding the release of these girls, joint Nobel Peace Prize winners, Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai along with United Nations Special Envoy for Education, Gordon Brown have written an open letter to continue the fight to free the girls and also work towards the creation of safe schools for children.

Global March reiterates once again that education cannot thrive under the shadows of terrorism. We stand in solidarity with the families of the victims and urge governments, international agencies and civil society to come together against forces that endanger the foundations of a strong, sustainable and an educated world that we are set to achieve.

Nobel Peace Laureate Urges You to Become Angry

Speaking at the closing session of TED2015, Kailash Satyarthi spoke on the transformative power of anger and how this energy had led to some of his best ideas. Urging the rapt audience to acknowledge and harness the power of positive anger, Satyarthi summarised, “I am urging you to become angry because the angriest among others is the one who can transform his anger into idea and action.”

To watch this inspiring talk, click here.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Mr. Satyarthi to congratulate him on winning the Nobel Peace Prize 2014 Mr. Satyarthi dedicated the Nobel Prize 2014 medal to his Nation, India. He handed over the medal to Hon’ble President Pranab Mukherjee. The medal will be a permanent exhibit at Rashtrapati Bhawan’s museum. Mr Satyarthi said, “This medal brings a lot of moral responsibility on all of us to ensure that rights of all children are protected and promoted”. Mr. Satyarthi alongwith his wife Mrs. Sumedha Kailash and three children meet U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama during the U.S. President's visit to India in January 2015.

Global March Partner, GODH Pakistan organises Gypsy Children Mela

For the 6th consecutive year, Grass-root Organization for Human Development (GODH), Global March partner in Pakistan organised a 2 day Gypsy Children Mela on the theme of ‘Identity’ (social & legal) in March 2015 at Lahore. On the 1st day a national level conference on the subject of importance of having a unique social and legal identity was organised with civil society members, government officials and the media. The 2nd day saw cultural and traditional performances and exhibition of artwork by this marginalised community of Gypsies. The two day event also facilitated birth and legal identity registration through the presence of local government authorities and a mobile wagon of National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA)

The Gypsy Children Mela is an integral part of GODH’s child rights advocacy campaign for the elimination of existing prejudices of the society about the gypsies. This two day event enables people from different segments of society to meet and engage with this target group of indigenous people, thereby helping to overcome existing notions and biases.

Global March Participates in GCE World Assembly

The 5th World Assembly of the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, 23-26 February 2015, and brought together 190 delegates representing civil society campaigns fighting for the right to education across 91 countries. 

Delegates discussed campaign priorities for the education movement now and for the proceeding four years of the GCE collective strategic plan. The core strategic focus for the movement between 2015 and 2019 will be quality, equity, financing, public systems and the role of the State, transparency and citizen participation, and education in conflicts and disasters. 

Mr. Kailash Satyarthi was invited to give the opening address for the Public Forum on the Right to Education 2000-2030 at the World Assembly on 23rd February, 2015.
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