Dear members, partners, friends and supporters,
Hope you are doing well and staying safe in these uncertain times of COVID-19, which has put forth a great challenge in front of us.
Before COVID-19, 152 million children were estimated to be in child labour globally. With the pandemic reaching most countries in the world, this number is likely to increase for the first time in 20 years. We cannot afford to reverse the progress made so far.
As 1.5 billion children’s education has been affected due to lockdowns across continents, the number of out of school children is also likely to rise, with girls adversely affected.
We at the Global March Against Child Labour (Global March) have been doing all that it takes to ensure vulnerable children are least affected and are protected and paid attention to.
On this World Day Against Child Labour – the forerunner of the UN International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour next year, we are calling out to all stakeholders – governments, businesses, civil society, trade unions, UN agencies and individuals to protect children now more than ever! Each one of us has a vital role to play.
Here are some efforts taken by Global March network for restoring children’s rights amidst the pandemic:
COVID-19 – Our Global Appeal for Children
COVID-19 has profoundly affected children, particularly girls- from the disruption in education, increased risk of physical and sexual violence, to the double burden of working inside and outside homes, and lack of access to food and healthcare provisions. Global March is appealing for help to ensure that children can return to school, that meals at school are reinstated, and access to remote learning and electricity is provided to schools, among other key essential needs. Your contribution can help us achieve this goal.
Our Response to COVID-19
Global March Against Child Labour network members across Africa, Asia and Latin America are striving to support vulnerable populations, providing them with essential supplies such as food, sanitary materials, masks, gloves, psychosocial support and access to means of alternative education in COVID-19 times.
Amplifying Southern Civil Society Voice via Media
As COVID-19 has shifted the global spotlight on the health and economic crisis, children and their issues are at greater risk of being left behind. To ensure that all actors continue to pay attention to children, Global March has been presenting southern civil society voices and perspectives from countries and the world in media, on the impacts of COVID-19 and child labour.
Our Recommendations for Businesses’ Role on Access to Education for Children in COVID-19
With school closures and growing digital divide amongst rich and poor children across the world, millions of children are at risk of never returning to school. The business community can lead the way in making education accessible to the most vulnerable children and ensuring a safer return for them to schools.
Position Paper on Impacts on COVID-19 and Child Labour
COVID-19 is impacting children adversely. In these complex times, it is, therefore, necessary to ensure we respond to this challenge with a special and unprecedented approach, if we are to minimise the risk of an increase in child labour. Global March has developed a position paper on this matter, to guide its network and all stakeholder.
World Day Against Child Labour Campaign with ILO
Global March collaborated with the ILO for this year’s World Day Against Child Labour, that calls for protecting children from child labour now more than ever. In a week-long virtual campaign, beginning from 5-12 June 2020, Global March and ILO created awareness via dissemination of social media graphics on impacts of COVID-19 on children; video messages of former child labourers and youth from Africa, Asia, and Latin America along with video messages from government representatives from Alliance 8.7 Pathfinder countries on how COVID-19 has affected them. Watch the video messages of youth here.
Global March’s founder and Nobel Peace Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi also participated in a high-level debate held on 12 June with other esteemed panellists including ILO DG, Guy Ryder; UNICEF Chief, Henrietta Fore and others. ILO also released a joint ILO-UNICEF report on child labour and COVID-19 that elaborates on the lurking dangers and the action needed by stakeholders.
COVID-19 and Child Labour Survey
To understand the biggest concerns and challenges for children in light of COVID-19 and how it has impacted the work of like-minded organisations working on ending child labour across the world, Global March will be disseminating a survey for its members, which will also help drive gender-responsive efforts by civil society, governments and policymakers. We will soon share the results of the survey.
Thank you for your continued support to our joint cause for ending child labour.
For queries and to collaborate or partner, please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Global March Against Child Labour