Universal Declaration of Human Rights forms the backbone of freedom, justice, peace and equity in the society. It lays down the framework for the Member States of the United Nations to uphold the dignity of all people so that they are able to realise their potential and progressively contribute to the socio-economic development. These rights are inextricably linked to development; dignity and justice; gender; participation; culture and environment that are at the core of human existence. Rights of the children have been derived from the larger denominator of human rights.
Global March Against Child Labour dedicates this International Human Rights Day to Nelson Mandela who obliterated apartheid by attacking its base deeply entrenched in poverty, inequality, and institutional racism.
On the eve of International Human Rights Day, Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson, Global March spoke about the invaluable support that was extended by the then President of South Africa Nelson Mandela to the third leg of the historic march as it crossed the subcontinent in March 1998.
President Nelson Mandela’s Message in support of the Global March Against Child Labour
March 21, 1998
“It is a pleasure to convey my sincere greetings to you all on this occasion.
I am most concerned about the large number of children subjected to child labour in South Africa and worldwide. A March of this nature is important in raising awareness and campaigning against this form of child abuse, which is a gross violation of children's rights and robs them of their childhood.
It is only through concerted action that we will rescue our children from the child labour and prevent a new generation of children from becoming victims.
I wish you all every success in your endeavours”.
Republic of South Africa
Madiba’s love for children beautifully reflects in his thought provoking quotes. He always advocated for a society that had no place for discrimination and violence against children.
In reverence for the departed leader, Kailash Satyarthi said “I have had the privilege of meeting Madiba on two occasions in my life. It was a truly electrifying experience. I draw tremendous inspiration from him in fighting for a world that is just and safe for its children. Madiba’s courage to stand up against injustice has always imparted unwavering conviction to me in working towards strengthening the worldwide movement against child labour and striving for education for all.”