From The Chair
The new year began on an unfortunate note with the brutal deaths of two children, Erum (10) and Azra (16) at the hands of their employers in Lahore (Punjab province), Pakistan. Global March Against Child Labour in its protest against the atrocities on child domestic labourers in Pakistan submitted a letter to Nawaz Sharif, Hon'ble Prime Minister of Pakistan urging the goverment to take urgent and immediate action against the perpetrators of child labour.
Global March launches New Campaign Site FREE - Free from Exploitation for Education- 12th June, 2013
Commemorating World Day Against Child Labour, Global March launched its new campaign site Free- Free from Exploitation for Education, a worldwide campaign to accelerate action against child domestic labour and to protect young domestic workers. The global campaign is pushing for an increased ratification of ILO Convention 189 (Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers) by countries to end exploitation, restore freedom and the opportunity to receive education and training for the 17.2 million child domestic workers worldwide. Till now, only eleven ILO member states have ratified the convention and there is an urgent call for more countries to come forward and take action against this invisible form of child labour. Read More
In its efforts to ratify Convention 189 by Indonesia, JARAK, Global March’s partner organisation in Indonesia along with JALA-PRT (National Network of the Protection of Domestic Workers) has been conducting activities towards adoption of the Bill of Domestic Workers Protection by the government.
JARAK commemorated last year’s World Day Against Child Labour, the theme of which was “No to child labour in domestic work” with ILO Jakarta and JALA-PRT (National Network of the Protection of Domestic Workers) by running a public awareness raising campaign attended by Vice Director of ILO, General Director of PNKPA-Ministry of Labour and Transmigration (The Monitoring Division of Women and Children Working Norm), Deputy Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, Trade Union Confederation, members of JARAK network, child domestic labourers and street children. Read more
The theme of ‘No to child labour in domestic work’ was aptly reflected in the World Day Against Child Labour celebrations in Panama with Global March’s partner organisation, IDEMI organising a day -long event in the city of Panama joined by representatives from organisations in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Spain. Read more
WAO Afrique Celebrates International day of Human Rights In Togo
To mark the celebration of the International Day of Human Rights in Togo, WAO Afrique and its partners conducted a series of community mobilisation and advocacy activities in Lomé and Adomi Abra. These included demonstrations organised by members of the Children and Youth Workers Association in Adomi Abra while in Lomé the Child Domestic Workers Advisory Council held a session attended by over 300 people consisting of children, youth and adults. Read More
WAO-Afrique organised a 2 day sub-regional workshop on the reflection of strategies to be implemented for the ratification of the Convention 189 on 11th and 12th July, 2013 in Lomé. The workshop was attended by civil society actors from Togo, Benin and Côte d’Ivoire.
Conference on Child Domestic Labour in Pakistan
27th November, 2013
In the wake of the rising number of cases of abuse of children in domestic work, Grassroot Organisation for Human Development (GODH), one of the partner organisations of Global March in Pakistan organised a 1 day awareness conference on the issue of child domestic labour. The participants for the conference included Parliamentarians, representatives from governments departments and civil society amongst others.
A significant progress towards the cause of child rights in Pakistan has been the formation of the Child Rights Movement (CRM), a network of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) striving to create an enabling environment for the protection and promotion of child rights in Pakistan through collective advocacy. GODH at present is hosting the Child Rights Movement’s Secretariat for the Punjab province. Read More
Board Member of Global March Selected as Member of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal
The end of the year saw Global March Board Member and Regional Co-ordinator for South Asia, Mr. Dilli Bahadur Chaudhary being elected as Member in the Constituent Assembly of Nepal. Read More
Click here to view the Petition (English | Arabic)
Stand up for the rights of Iranian children by signing the Petition
Join the Campaign “Colour Your Dreams”
Today we have completed 16 years of our sustained movement against child labour. I take this opportunity and thank all the core marchers of 1998, the children and the youth who gave us energy and inspiration, regional co-ordinators, partners and member organisations, supporters, donors and well-wishers. Together with all of you, the movement against child labour has come a long way, but still much work needs to be done to end all forms of child labour and ensure that all children are in school. Let us surge ahead with even more vigour and hope this new year in our journey from exploitation to education. I am also determined to give my very best this year.
The year that has gone by has witnessed yet another remarkable progress in the fight against child labour and education for all that Global March Against Child Labour embarked upon nearly 15 years ago. Child labour has reduced from 250 million in 2003 to 168 million in 2012 and out-of-school children from 130 million to 57 million in 2012 according to latest figures. This achievement has been a result of many laudable initiatives by governments, civil society including workers' organisations, businesses and other stakeholders.
Despite the progress, there are still reasons to worry. The reduction in numbers has been slow and is stagnating. Further, a large number (60%) of child labourers remain engaged in agriculture, a sector that is still largely unregulated. Amidst the demand for cheap domestic helps by the growing middle class, child domestic labour is at an all time high, pushing many children from vulnerable backgrounds into exploitative work. Several cases of abuse of children in domestic labour were particularly reported in India and Pakistan last year and the first week of this year witnessed the brutal death of 2 child domestic labourers in Pakistan. Continued political instability and fragility of many states, especially in the Middle East and North Africa region, have made victims of innocent children caught in internal conflicts, insurgencies and terrorism and have left many youth disempowered and unemployed. The growing violence against and neglect of children and youth in Syria’s ongoing civil war is a case in point.
There is progress on tackling child labour but there are many challenges in ensuring its total eradication, especially the worst forms of child labour by 2016 as committed by the international community. With time towards this goalpost quickly slipping away, urgent and reinvigorated movement and action, collectively by all stakeholders is an imperative. This includes foremost tackling the 6 Emergencies or the 6Es which the world is presently facing, namely - Education, Enforcement, Employment, Economic, Ecological and Ethical emergencies to address the issue of “hardest to reach children”. Through committed and collaborative efforts, sustained elimination of child labour is possible.
Global March completes fifteen years on January 17th, 2013
The beginning of 2013 marked a landmark for Global March Against Child Labour as it completed fifteen years of its fight against child labour. The 17th of January, 1998 had seen the beginnings of Global March with an 80,000 km march crossing 103 countries and bringing trade unions, teacher’s organizations, child rights organizations, civil society and most importantly, children. Over the years, Global March has received the support of thousands of motivated individuals who have come together to stand up against child labour, an issue that had remained unacknowledged and was almost accepted as a way of life.
The last fifteen years has seen significant progress against child labour with the number of children involved in child labour coming down from 250 million in 2003 to 168 million in 2013. Yet, much remains to be done. As we step into a new year, Global March and its partners endeavour to make child labour history and ensure quality, basic education to all children.
Trafficking in Person, Forced Labour and Child Labour Crimes in the Indian Penal Code
The 3rd of February, 2013 marked a significant victory for anti-child labour organisations in India with the amendment of Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which has, for the first time, defined and criminalised trafficking in persons in the Indian criminal justice system. The new definition is in line with the international definition of trafficking and follows India’s ratification of the United Nations’ Palermo Protocol which specifies the prevention, suppression and punishment of trafficking in persons, especially, women and children. Global March along with its partner organization, Bachpan Bachao Andolan had made elaborate submissions to the government appointed Justice Verma Committee to include trafficking in persons, especially sexual exploitation, along with a range of suggestions to deter sexual violence against women and children in India. This has been a giant step towards fighting child trafficking in India and will go a long way in combating the associated violence that these children are prey to.
4th International Meeting Against Child Labour in Mexico- 21st March, 2013
The 4th International Meeting Against Child Labour was held on 21st March 2013 in Mexico. Organised by Fundación Telefónica in collaboration with ILO, UNESCO - Santiago de Chile Office, and the Government of the State of Mexico, the purpose of the 4th Meeting was to contribute to the Third Global Conference on Child Labour “Strategies to Accelerate the Pace of Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour” scheduled for October 2013 in Brazil. Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson, Global March Against Child Labour also participated in this event and was a keynote speaker on “Human Rights and Child Labour”
Global March Presents Report “Child Labour in Cocoa Farming In Côte D’Ivoire”- April 2013
In April, 2013 Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson, Global March Against Child Labour presented the latest report “Child Labour in Cocoa Farming in Côte d’Ivoire” to Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Gordon Brown, Education Envoy to UN Secretary General and several other dignitaries in Washington D.C.
This report summarises the findings and observations of Global March’s scoping mission to Côte d’Ivoire that was undertaken in January – February 2013 with the objectives of gaining on ground experiences through interactions with the key stakeholders and community members on the situation of child labour in the country; identifying the strengths and gaps; and proposing comprehensive strategies for tackling child labour in cocoa production in the country.
To download the report “Child Labour in Cocoa Farming in Côte d’Ivoire” please click here
Former Child Bonded Labourer Awarded Global Education’s Youth Courage Award in July 2013
It was a proud moment for Global March and its partner organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) when sixteen year old Razia Sultan, an activist with BBA was awarded Global Education’s Youth Courage Award for education by the United Nations. Hailing from Uttar Pradesh in India, Razia had been a child labourer herself before she was rescued by BBA activists and enrolled in school. Today, she stands as an icon of empowerment and courage and her sustained efforts have resulted in the liberation of 46 child labourers in her neighborhood.
III Global Child Labour Conference- Brasilia, 8th-10th October, 2013
The III Global Conference on Child Labour was held in Brasilia with the objective of taking stock of all the actions taken in the fight against child labour and to exchange and share experiences of good practices and interventions across all countries and regions to accelerate progress in ending child labour. The event witnessed the participation of 1300 participants from over 150 countries from various governments, employers’ organisations, workers’ organisations, regional/international organisations and civil society organizations along with prominent dignitaries like Guy Ryder, Director General of International Labour Organisation (ILO), Dilma Rousseff, President of Federative Republic of Brazil, Brazilian Minister of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger, Tereza Campello, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Liliane Ploumen, representative of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), Octavio Carvajal Bustamante and representative of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Jeroen Beirnaert.
The host government had invited Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson of Global March to represent the civil society fraternity at the opening and closing sessions of the conference. Satyarthi called for an active co-ordination between inter-governmental agencies for the mobilization of political will and resources in fighting the scourge of child labour. Global March’s members and partners unequivocally voiced their collective opinion that fight against child labour cannot succeed without an agenda to protect all children from exploitation and to ensure that they benefit from good quality education, decent living standards and fulfilled, safe and happy childhoods.
Global March’s key constituent International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) was an integral part of the drafting committee for the Brasilia Declaration on Child Labour and most of the key concerns of Global March were included in the outcome document.
The III GCCL ended with a pledge to transform child labour to youth empowerment in the years to come.
To download the synopsis of Kailash Satyarthi's opening address at III GCCL, please click here
‘Not Made by Children’- Global March’s Focused Interventions in the Garment Manufacturing Sector in India
In early 2007 in the wake of widespread chid labour abuse in garment sweatshops producing for some known global apparel brands, Global March Against Child Labour started focussed intervention in the garment manufacturing sector in India. This intervention was named “Not Made by Children”. Through this proogramme, Global March successfully brought together various stakeholders like apparel brands, garment manufacturers, their associations, trade unions and child rights organisations on a common platform with the objective to provide strategic and technical guidance amongst various stakeholders to share knowledge and build partnerships for the elimination of child labour from the Indian garment manufacturing sector.
In March 2011, Global March’s interventions under “Not Made by Children” were boosted through a grant by UKAid from the Department for International Development’s (DFID) Responsible and Accountable Garment Sector (RAGS) Challenge Fund. The interventions were rolled out with the help of partner organisations Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) and Developmental Initiatives for Social Causes that hosts the Garment Workers’ Union (under the aegis of ITUC).
To ensure sustainability and replicability of the interventions beyond the funding period, Global March prepared a toolkit documenting the good practices evolved which would help various stakeholders to proactively intervene against child labour.
Child Labourers Cannot Wait Anymore... Global March In Follow-Up Of Brasilia Declaration
Post the III GCCL in October 2013, Global March as a representative of the civil society has been mobilising various actors in achieving the mandate set forth in the Brasilia Declaration. As a follow-up of the Brasilia Declaration, Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson, Global March recently undertook a visit to Brazil for further streamlining worldwide action against child labour in conjunction with the Host Government. The Chair of Global March met key stakeholders including Minister of Social Development & Hunger Alleviation of Brazil, Ms. Tereza Campello; Special Advisor to President Dilma Rousseff, and former President Lula for intensifying action to prioritise child labour elimination in the regional, national and international agendas.
India Gets One Step Closer to a Strong Anti- Child Labour Law
The 13th of December, 2013 marked a significant milestone for child rights organisations in India when the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour submitted its report on the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012. This is a crucial step by the Government towards ending child labour following more than a decade of sustained efforts by Global March Against Child Labour and its partner organisations to pursue complete abolition of child labour in India.
Global March and partner organisations would continue advocating for an effective bill against child labour which when enacted as a law would pave way for complete eradication of child labour from India.
Global March’s partner organisation in Costa Rica, Defensa de Niñas y Niños Internacional (DNI) prepared a document on the situation of child labour in Central America and elaborated on proposals that were mobilised during the preparatory process for the III GCCL. DNI also circulated the Brasilia Declaration Conference to its constituents and prepared associated press releases.
Regional Coordinator of the Global March in South America, “Centro de Estudios Sociales y Publicaciones” (CESIP) in Lima (Peru), has been very active in the fight against child labour throughout 2013. Particularly significant has been the organisation of National Meeting of Children and Adolescents commemorating the 24th Anniversary of United Nations on the Convention of the Rights of the Child. The activity jointly organised by the Municipality of La Victoria, the CESIP and other organisations facilitated the participants to identify common goals to focus upon. These goals stem from the proposed new Code of Children and Adolescents in protection of the rights of children and adolescents particularly their freedom from exploitation like child labour and slavery. This also led to the adoption of theLima Declaration.
In yet other congregation, a forum “Progress against Child Labour” was convened in Peru in November 2013. This was organised by the Congress of the Republic, the National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor (CPETI), the Municipality of Carabayllo and CESIP with the support of Terre des Hommes Netherlands, to assess the progress in the fight against child labour and exploitation in the district of Carabayllo.
CESIP commemorated World Day against Child Labour carrying out various actions, at national, regional and local level in conjunction with allied public and private institutions. The activities were especially designed to draw the attention on the serious situation in which child labourers are engaged in hazardous work and activities, raising a loud voice against Child Domestic Labour.
Read more about activities undertaken in Paraguay and Peru (in Spanish).
On the 30th of August, 2013 WAO-Afrique launched the report 'Violation of Rights of the Child: harmful practices based on tradition, culture, religion and superstition. This report takes into account the concerns of NGOs fighting for the protection of children across different countries.
As part of the continuation of activities to raise public awareness on the protection of children against trafficking, the Study Committee on Child Domestic Labour and Global March's partner organisation, WAO-Afrique in collaboration with the Union des Syndicats des Conducteurs Routiers du Togo ( USYCORT) launched three traffic stations in Lomé Agbalépédogan, Kodomé and Akodesewa.