Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Campaigning and mass mobilisation have been the core strength of Global March Against Child Labour and most of its partners. We have witnessed concrete policy changes and tangible results in our fight against child labour and for education. Ratification of ILO Conventions, integration of child labour in global and national development and education agendas, holding corporations accountable, policy changes for trafficking for forced labour, child domestic labour and child labour in agriculture are among a few significant success stories though not enough that Global March and its partners have achieved in the last 15 years.
Our recent achievement has been the agreement by Mr. Gordon Brown, United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Global Education in a meeting in April at Washington D.C. to include Global March’s demand for a special UN Resolution to end child slavery in his agenda for the next UN General Assembly. Global March has constantly lamented that governments and the international community have miserably failed in keeping their promises made to children in global development agenda and legislative frameworks. Global March has advised setting up a global fund for ending child slavery, putting in place a non-negotiable corporate social accountability mechanism and promoting united civil society action. It has also raised the demand to revitalise the global movement against child slavery, take this issue to the national parliaments and on the streets. The proposed UN Resolution will help recapture the political priority and momentum to put an end to this crime.
Global March strongly believes and advocates that child domestic labour is a hidden form of servitude, wherein the plight of children, mostly girls remains unheard and invisible. There are plethoras of examples wherein children, adolescents, and domestic workers are economically exploited, physically enslaved, sexually abused and emotionally torn. Many of them are also the victims of human trafficking. Global March fully supports ILO’s theme for this year’s World Day Against Child Labour (12 June) – “Ending child labour in domestic work – Protecting young workers from abuse and exploitation”. This is in tandem with Global March’s present Campaign on Child Domestic Labour – FREE: Free From Exploitation For Education to push for speedy ratification of ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers, especially to restore freedom and dignity for 15.5 million child domestic workers worldwide. In this regard, Global March has already partnered with 9 leading international organisations who have jointly called on Ministers of Labour around the globe to protect child domestic workers and ratify this important convention. Also, we are demanding for a greater role of civil society in planning, implementation and monitoring of child labour elimination strategies in line with the recommendations to the ILO Convention 189.
I call upon you to demonstrate your leadership, campaigning skills and capabilities to influence the national and international policies in eradicating child domestic labour.
May 15, 2013