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6694: Child labour campaign (mention of Haiti) (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
Campaign Starts To Make Homes Child Labour Free
New Delhi (Global March Against Child Labour, January 19, 2001) - The
Global March kicks off today a year-long crusade against a modern day form
of slavery. Trapped between four walls, tens of millions of children are
toiling night and day as domestic servants in the homes of wealthier
families. Scrubbing, sweeping, serving and suffering, these children have
long forgotten the joy that childhood was meant to be.
A widespread practice throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the
use of children as domestic servants has been condemned as one of the worst
forms of child labour. The ILO has described domestic work as among the
lowest status, least regulated, and poorest paid of all
occupations--whether performed by adults or children.
The harsh reality of child domestic work today is shocking: In
Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines, studies have shown
child domestics spend on average 15 hours or more working each day, seven
days a week; in Morocco a survey found that 72% of child domestic workers
began their day before 7 am and went to bed after 11 pm.
In Ghana, 80% of girls working as domestics were between 10 and 14
years; in Venezuela, more than 25% of child domestic workers are said to be
less than 10 years old; in Haiti children as young as 5 are live-in
domestic "restaveks". Most child domestics live with and are under the
exclusive, round-the-clock control of their employer 90% of child
domestics are girls and many are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and
The launch of this campaign marks the third anniversary of the start of
the Global March Against Child Labour. The March has travelled over 80, 000
kms to raise awareness about child labour and it was instrumental in the
creation of ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour. It has
now developed into the world's largest movement in defence of exploited
Cecilia Oebanda-Flores, the Global March Coordinator in the Philippines
and one of the pioneers in the field of child domestic work, has called for
protection of young domestic workers who are wrapped in silence and
deliberately excluded from the rights accorded to other members of society.
Against a backdrop of political turmoil in the Philippines, 3, 000 children
and civil society movers will be rallying together in a call for peace and
unity for working children. Former child domestic worker, Sarah Balabagan,
who survived a long prison sentence and a hundred lashes in the UAE, will
be leading the occasion.
In India, Divya Chauhan, Miss India Asia-Pacific, inaugurated "No
Cinderella Story: The Global March Campaign Against Domestic Child Labour".
This exploitation of children "snatches away the most beautiful days of
these young lives and I will be glad to help bring this hidden cruelty to
light", said Divya on joining the campaign. Together with former child
labourers and school children, she helped go door-to-door asking homeowners
to place a "child-labour- free home" sticker on their door if they support
the campaign and don't employ child domestic workers.
During this year the Global March aims to dramatically increase
awareness about the extent and seriousness of the problem. Active in over
100 countries, the movement will be pushing for legal measures,
rehabilitation programs, and direct interventions to protect child domestic
workers. Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson of the Global March appealed to
civil society for urgent action, "children are the soul and spirit of every
nation, but behind closed doors their dreams will die a silent death if we
don't act now."
To find out more or to become a part of the campaign, please contact:
Toko Tomita or Anandi Selva Kumar Domestic Child Labour Campaign
Coordinators Global March International Secretariat L-6 Kalkaji, New
Delhi-19, India Tel: (91 11) 622-4899, 647-5481 Fax: (91 11) 623-6818
E-mail: yatradel2.vsnl.net.in, childhoodglobalmarch.org Website: