Do you believe in magic? In things changing around as if they were never there? We do too.
While we sit everyday on our desks doing our bit towards making a change in the lives of exploited child labourers, advocating for their rights with multiple stakeholders, we wish for this magic to happen someday. i.e to see a world free of child labour. But paradoxically, as grown- ups we all know magic somehow does not happen magically. It takes something more.
While we were drafting this piece, one of the meanings of the word ‘Magic’ on the internet that came up was ‘ the use of special powers to make things happen that would usually be impossible’. Somehow upon reading this definition, we felt endowed and empowered, that we as a child rights organisation, and you as a patron of this cause, both have this ‘special power’ to make a greater change in the lives of 152 million children that are toiling in labour day in and day out. We do have the potential, zeal, commitment and intent to ensure that one day, all children will go to school and the impossible will become possible.
But in our 20 years of work on fighting against child labour, what we have also realised is that this impossible dream and this ‘magic’ will only happen when we believe that no dream is beyond the bounds of possibility if one works hard towards it. Isn’t this true for our shared goal too?
Nevertheless the reality is that many parts of the world are ridden with conflicts, disasters, political instability, poverty, hunger, unemployment and much more. However, we still remain optimistic that children who are the worst sufferers in this entire crisis, who are being pushed into child labour and slavery in deplorable conditions, will one day rise above all the challenges and become leaders of tomorrow. This can only happen if one truly believes in their highest potential to do greater things in life. This belief must translate into giving them their rightful freedom to be free, to be safe, to be educated, to live like a child and not become a proxy for adults.
This World Children’s Day, we are not talking big things, but only sharing our heartfelt belief that ZEROing child labour is not a distant dream, and we want you to continue believing in the same. This joint goal can only be achieved when we all do our bits. And we cannot do our bit without your support and your contribution.
Your faith in us has helped us to contribute towards reduction in child labour from 246 million in the year 2000-to 152 million until today. It has enabled us to support and strengthen the work of our members in Africa, Asia, Latin America and beyond, to advocate with different stakeholders, including governments to remain committed in protecting and promoting the rights of every child in their respective countries, and beyond borders- rights that are promised under the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child).
Therefore on this day of children, let’s strengthen our faith in each other and this cause. Let us believe that zeroing child labour is possible. Let us believe. Let us do magic!
Global March Against Child Labour