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World Day Against Child labour 2009

A Letter from Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson, Global March Against Child Labour

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Greetings from Global March Against Child Labour

First of all I would like to congratulate you and all your partners for 10th anniversary of landmark ILO Convention No. 182, which addresses the need for action to tackle the worst forms of child labour 
As you are aware the 80,000 kilometer long march across 103 countries led by the child victims of slavery, prostitution, dangerous work, trafficking and various other forms of exploitation demanded immediate end to this human menace social evil and global crime. Millions of others joined with their strong voice and the slogan “No more tools in tiny hands we want books we want toys and no more child prostitution children want education”. It was an historic moment when ILO opened its doors to these marchers where they strongly and loudly questioned the world leaders, labour ministers and government delegation “Are You So Poor That YouCan’t Take Away Our Tools and Give Us Books?” This generated unprecedented moral force which was immediately translated into a collective commitment to adopt a new international law. Global March played a pivotal role in conceptualizing the demands, building and mobilizing widest possible support and for shaping up of the ILO Convention 182 and later on campaigning for its ratification and implementation. The Global March has strengthened all ILO’s efforts in this regard as well.

Our cumulative and independent efforts have brought freedom and hope in the lives of millions by putting an end to child labour and giving an opportunity for education. But challenges are still vital, approximately 218 million children are still languishing in child labour and 72 million have never been to schools and 12 million are sold and bought in lesser prices then cows and buffaloes. We cannot sit quiet. We are pledged to abolish child labour in all worst forms as our first priority.  We are equally committed to make sure that each single child on this planet is free, safe and enjoying all opportunities of development and getting free and good quality education. Therefore the day June 12th is an important landmark of our decade long success as well as in terms of challenges ahead.

Global March is not only an NGO group at country level. Therefore it’s vital we work hand in hand with worker’s unions, teacher unions and children  in marking this day and making it more effective and inclusive. The resource pack enclosed with this letter gives you some basic guidelines on our demands and possible action. Please feel free to use your own strategies and actions as our purpose to see ILO Convention is genuinely implemented and participation of civil society is assertion in planning implementing monitoring National Action Plan elimination of child labour.

The issue of inclusion of hard to reach children in perticular child labour in education is a key challenge. Most of the countries have not incorporated child labour in their education or poverty reduction agenda. We must raise the voice on June 12th and follow it on further. We hope your efforts will help in making a difference.

In Solidarity

Kailash Satyarthi