April 23, 2013 Washington DC – Mr. Gordon Brown, UN Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of United Kingdom has agreed to include a major demand of Global March Against Child Labour in his agenda for the next UN General Assembly.
The Chairperson of Global March, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi had emphatically demanded for a special UN Resolution to end child slavery. Mr. Satyarthi raised this demand while addressing an important roundtable on child slavery, participated by over 200 representatives of governments, UN agencies and global civil society. This discussion was convened by Mr. Brown during a series of events planned in conjunction to the IMF World Bank Development Committee in Washington DC lastFriday, April 19th.
Mr. Kailash Satyarthi lamented that the government and the international community have miserably failed in keeping their promise made to the children in global development agenda and legislative frameworks. He further said that almost 215 million children are engaged as child labourers and 61 million children of primary school age and yet another 71 million children of lower secondary school age are still out of school. “Millions of them are victims of child slavery including trafficking, forced labour, domestic help, prostitution, arm conflict etc. This is a matter of utmost shame, angst and urgency” exclaimed Mr. Satyarthi. He also called for setting up a global fund for ending child slavery, non negotiable corporate social accountability mechanism and united civil society action.
Mr. Satyarthi further added that the international instrument including UN and ILO conventions on slavery, forced labour and worst forms of child labour have not been implemented with sincerity due to lack of mass mobilization and political will; therefore a revitalized movement in the United Nation, National Parliaments and on the streets for that matter is a must. The proposed UN Resolution will help recapturing the political priority and momentum to put an end to this menace.
While introducing the session Mr. Gordon Brown said that “child labour is a major obstacle in the way of achieving education for all”. He further emphasized with a sense of urgency that “only 1000 days remain to attain Millennium Development Goals 2015”.
Others key speakers at the round table were ILO-IPEC Director, Ms. Constance Thomas, Executive Director Anti-Slavery International Aidan McQuade; ECPAT International Executive Director: Dorothy Rozga, Eddie Mackle from Global Compact and Jooel Reyes from the World Bank.
Please click on the following links to read press articles related to the round table: