On Thursday 21st January, child labour survivors, Nobel Peace Laureates, youth leaders and activists, civil society organisations, business leaders, and faith leaders came together to launch the Fair Share to End Child Labour campaign.
The virtual launch event started with two powerful speeches from Selimatha and Abina, both child labour survivors and activists from Ghana and Togo, respectively. Neither one of them shied away from issuing their demands for an end to child labour from political decision-makers, and both set the tone for a bold and ambitious campaign this year.
2021 is the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, and the Fair Share campaign aims to accelerate action to end this injustice once and for all. Child labour – alongside many other injustices done to children – can be eradicated by a combination of mainstream social policies which include the needs of the most marginalised citizens, and targeted interventions which directly protect children and enable them to flourish. This is why the Fair Share to End Child Labour campaign is calling for a fair share of resources, policies, and protection.
Throughout the event inspiring speeches were delivered by the heads of multilateral organisations, business leaders, student and trade union leaders, and faith leaders from all over the world, including Guy Ryder, DG of the International Labour Organization; Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, DG of the World Health Organization; Gabriela Ramos, ADG at UNESCO; and Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate and Child Rights Activist.
"OECD is fully committed to the three-pronged approach called for by the Fair Share campaign to end child labour by ensuring all children get their fair share of resources, policies and protection. We must act now and the only way is to act together." - Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General OECD, 2006-2021
At the end of each panel, speakers were invited to add their signatures in support of the campaign pledge, calling for action over words: “As part of this UN Year, we commit to doing all we can to eradicate child labour and leave no child behind through a fair share of resources, policies and protection.”
The campaign launch video was also unveiled, outlining the stark picture for the 1 in 10 of the world’s children still forced to work through the testimonies of two children, Kajal, a survivor in India and David, a child labourer in Kenya.
The speakers at the launch represented hundreds more organisations and individuals united in their determination to ensure 2021 is a year of bold action to end child labour.
Around the world, campaign leaders including the Inter-Parliamentary Union intend to organise a debate on child labour in every parliament, and secure commitments to the fair share principle from political leaders.
At the local level, we are calling on individual supporters to drive the campaign through a range of actions they can take within their communities, including writing to local decision-makers, connecting directly with the most marginalised children at risk of, or engaged in, child labour, and holding events to make their village/town/city a child labour-free zone.
Students and young people will conduct direct advocacy with their political representatives and work to eliminate child labour and slavery from the supply chains of schools, campuses, and towns, demonstrating that a world without child labour is possible and worth fighting for.
Join the movement
As individuals, we can’t eradicate child labour on our own. But together, as a movement, we can finally end this grave injustice by demanding every child has their fair share of resources, policies, and protection that ensure they are learning in school and not working to survive.
The world has enough resources, and we know the policies that work; ending child labour is long overdue and millions of children are paying the price with their freedom, their childhood and their future.
By joining the campaign, you can stay up-to-date on the latest news from around the world, and upcoming opportunities to take action.
We will also keep you connected to inspiring child labour survivors and activists whose experiences are leading this campaign from the grassroots to the national and global levels.
Will you join us?