Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi has been at the forefront of the global movement to end child slavery and exploitative child labour since 1980. Child labour is a human rights issue that has staggering effects on poverty, illiteracy and humanity. Mr. Satyarthi and the grassroots movement founded by him, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), have liberated more than 85,000+ children from exploitation and developed a successful model for their education and rehabilitation.
Child labour is a human rights issue that has staggering effects on poverty, illiteracy and humanity. Mr. Satyarthi and the grassroots movement founded by him, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), have liberated more than 85,000+ children from exploitation and developed a successful model for their education and rehabilitation.
As a worldwide campaigner, he has been the architect of the single largest civil society network for the most exploited children, the Global March Against Child Labour, which is a worldwide coalition of NGOs, Teachers’ Unions and Trade Unions active in 103 countries. Mr. Satyarthi’s efforts led to the adoption of ILO Convention 182 on worst forms of child labour in 1999.
He was also the Founding President of the Global Campaign for Education, a civil society movement working to end the global education crisis, and GoodWeave International, which was one of the first consumer awareness programmes and the earliest example of modern corporate social responsibility.
Mr. Satyarthi is a member of several high level groups on child labour and education. He is one of the rare civil society leaders to have addressed the United Nations General Assembly, International Labour Conference, UN Human Rights Commission, UNESCO and is one of the commissioners of the high-level International Commission on the Financing of Global Education Opportunities.
In 2014, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”
Mr. Satyarthi’s efforts to end child slavery, trafficking, forced labour and violence received international support when in September 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations included child protection and welfare-related clauses included.
To achieve his vision of a world where children can live freely with dignity and have the fundamental right to be free, safe, healthy and educated, thereby realizing their potential, he has founded the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to end all violence against and exploitation of children by focusing on three Ps: Policy, Practice and People.
Timothy (Tim) Ryan (b. United Kingdom, February 5, 1956) was the Asia Regional Program Director for Solidarity Center, based in Washington between 2001 and his retirement in 2021. In this position, he oversaw all Solidarity Center programmes for Asia, including offices in Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, with regional programmes in India, Nepal, Philippines, and the Maldives. Between 2005 and 2011, Timothy also directed the European department covering offices and programs in Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Russia, Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. He spent eight years in Asia as the Solidarity Center’s Country Program Director for Sri Lanka (1993-97) and Indonesia (1997-2001), working on organising export processing zones, migrant worker issues, and in India and Pakistan his work was focused on developing programmes to combat child labour. In Indonesia he focused on trade union organising, policy advocacy training for unions, labour law reform, legal aid for fired and imprisoned union activists, promoting policy and legal advocacy for migrant workers and child labourers, voter education, get-out-the-vote programmes, and long-term election monitoring.
His writing on labor and political issues has appeared in Harper’s, Foreign Policy, Thomson-Reuters, Foreign Policy in Focus, The Far Eastern Economic Review, The Christian Science Monitor, and in national newspapers in South Asia and Latin America. He is the Executive Producer of “Knots: A Forced Marriage Story,” an international award-winning feature-length documentary on forced marriage in the US, and recently, “Labor in the Habibie Years: The Third Act” which is a chapter and new afterword in Democracy Take-Off? The B.J. Habibie Period, edited by Dewi Fortuna Anwar and Bridget Welsh (2021).
Frans Röselaers (1946, Netherlands) has served with the International Labour Organization (1975 to 2006) in field positions in Africa and at the ILO Headquarters. Over the last decade, he was closely involved in addressing the grave problem of child labour worldwide and headed the ILO’s flagship International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour from 1999 to 2005. He served on the Editorial Board of the UN Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children (published in 2006). Frans is a Member of several boards of child rights NGOs and institutes; and of industry partnerships to combat child labour. He is also the Trustee and Board Member of the Global March Against Child Labour.
Haldis Holst is Deputy General Secretary of Education International (EI) where she is responsible for EI’s work in the areas of human and trade union rights, equality, and solidarity programs. EI is a Global Union Federation that represents organisations of teachers and other education employees and has more than thirty-two million trade union members in about four hundred organisations in one hundred and seventy countries and territories.
Ms Holst graduated as a teacher in 1983, after majoring in English and Physical Education. She has worked as a teacher in primary and secondary schools and has been a union representative at local, regional and national level. In 2001, she became Vice-President of Norsk Lærerlag (NL). After the merger of the two largest teacher unions in Norway in 2002, she was an Executive Board member and later Vice President of Utdanningsforbundet (Union of Education Norway).
Ms. Holst has also served as Norway’s representative on the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and been a member of the Executive Board of Education International. Ms. Holst was Vice-President of EI from 2009 – 2012.
Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe
Mr Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe (b. Ghana, April 19, 1965) affectionately called ‘Andy’ is an Agricultural Engineer by training and a Trade Unionist by profession. Andy works as the Head of Education and Training for the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of the Ghana Trades Union Congress. He is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Berlin School of Economics, Institute of Social studies Den Haag. He has professional competences in Labour issues, decent work, child labour, workplace occupational safety and health, rural livelihoods and poverty reduction strategies for rural people. He is a union educator and an organiser. Andy has done extensive work on the cocoa value chain looking at labour conditions. He currently serves on the Board of the Global March Against Child labour, Chair to the Board of the Youth Employment Network – Ghana, and the immediate past secretary of the International Cocoa Verification Board (ICVB). Andy consults for the ILO Ghana, the Global March and other national and international organisations in the areas of rural livelihoods, workers health, safety and environment and child labour. He is a former international footballer and a coach.
Cléophas Mally (b. Hiheatro, Togo, 1954) is currently the director of WAO-Afrique, an NGO based in Lomé that fights against child trafficking and child labour. He received a Diploma in Human Rights Education from Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium and a Masters Degree in Social Development Studies and Public Management. He also holds a BA in Translation from the University of Yaoundé.
Mr. Mally has served on various Boards during the last 15 years such as – End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT), Global Campaign for Education (GCE), and the Voluntary Fund of the United Nations. Along with being a Board member of the Global March Against Child Labour, he is currently the co-President of the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), a Swiss Foundation and member of the NGO Advisory Council in charge of follow-up to the United Nations Study on Violence against Children.
Mr. Mally has received numerous awards on behalf of his organisation; the most important was the Body Shop Human Rights Award in July 2000. Well known in the network of NGOs in Africa and the world, he has built a very good relationship in Africa with the different Ministries concerned with the issue of child rights.
Virginia Murillo Herrera
Virginia Murillo Herrera (b. San José, Costa Rica, October 2, 1964) is the Executive President of Defensa de Niñas y Niños Internacional-Costa Rica (Defence for Children International-Costa Rica). Along with being a Board Member of Global March Against Child Labour, Virginia is currently the Chair of the UN Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, an Expert of the OHCHR and Member of the UN Trust Fund on Trafficking. A researcher and coordinator of different regional networks, she has also been a former Executive Board Member of Defence for Children International.
Virginia has over 20 years of experience in the field of Human Rights. She has a wide range of expertise in areas covering Human Rights, Child Rights, Local Development, Violence Against Children, Child Labour, Juvenile Justice, Migration, Monitoring and Evaluation, Building Capacities, Networking, Advocacy, Public Policies and National Protection Systems. A sociologist by training, Virginia holds a Masters in Public Management of Local Development.
Ana Vásquez Gardini
Ana Vásquez Gardini es una economista peruana comprometida con la promoción y defensa del ejercicio pleno de derechos de niñas, niños, adolescentes y mujeres adultas.
Actualmente es Directora del Centro de Estudios Sociales y Publicaciones CESIP y Representante de la Marcha Global contra el Trabajo Infantil para América del Sur e integrante del Comité de Políticas de la Red Internacional de Grupos Pro Alimentación Infantil (IBFAN) en América Latina. Ha sido Presidenta de la Red de Educación Popular entre Mujeres de América Latina y El Caribe – REPEM. Participa en espacios, nacionales e internacionales vinculados a los derechos de las mujeres y la educación.
Norma Flores López
Norma Flores López is the Governance and Development/Collaboration Manager at East Coast Migrant Head Start Project and serves as the chair of the Child Labor Coalition’s Domestic Issues Committee. She has long been an active advocate for migrant farmworker children’s rights and continues to raise awareness on issues affecting farmworkers and creating meaningful engagement with the farmworker community in her current role.
Norma has had the opportunity to testify before Congress and has appeared on national news outlets including, 60 Minutes, on issues related to child labor in agriculture. She has also been invited by international governments to consult on strategies to reduce child labor abroad.
In addition to her years of experience as an advocate, Norma has invaluable firsthand experience with farmworker issues. Growing up as a child of a migrant farmworker family from South Texas, she began working in the fields at the age of 12, where she continued working until she graduated from high school.
Prior to joining ECMHSP, Norma was the director of the Children in the Fields Campaign at the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs. Previous prior work also includes managing national and local clients at public relations firms.
Additionally, Norma serves on the Board of Directors for the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association since 2015, and on the Board of Directors for the National Consumers League since 2016. She was selected to participate in the Pahara Next Generation Fellowship.
Norma holds a Master’s of Public Policy from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. She graduated from the University of Texas Pan-American in Edinburg, Texas, with a bachelor’s degree in communications and studied abroad at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain.
President/Co-founder, ACE (Action against Child Exploitation)
She founded ACE in 1997 while she was earning a master’s degree from the Osaka School of International Public Policy in response to Mr.Kailash Satyarthi’s call for joining the Global March Movement. She served as a fellow at Winrock International, working on the Best Practices Report of the CIRCLE project (2006). Currently She is acting as secretariat of STOP! Child Labour Network Japan, the board of Global March Against Child Labour and Japan Ethical Initiative.
Her work at ACE includes addressing child labour in cocoa industry in Ghana and cotton industry in India; advocacy; partnership with corporate sectors; and leading the organization to grow and build its reputation as a child labour specialist. ACE was nominated for The U.S. Department of Labor Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labor (2012). ACE won Nikkei Social Initiative Award in International category (2015) for its solution model involving corporate partners and consumers to end child labour in cocoa in Ghana. www.acejapan.org/english
DILLI BAHADUR CHAUDHARY
Mr. Dilli Bahadur Chaudhary from Nepal has served as a Member in the Constituent Assembly of Nepal and is also the Founder and President of Backward Society Education (BASE), a grassroot level organisation in Nepal. Mr. Chaudhary has been a long standing supporter of Global March. His contribution in fostering child rights in South Asia is noteworthy.
Jeroen Beirnaert is Director of Human and Trade Union Rights at the International Trade Union Confederation, coordinating action and policy by and between trade unions and other stakeholders globally, particularly in countries where these rights are most at risk. He writes on everything related to peace, democracy and rights.