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The mission of the Global March will be to:
"To mobilise world-wide efforts to protect and promote the rights of all children, especially the right to receive a free, meaningful education and to be free from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be damaging to the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. "
The Global March will in particular:
I. Raise awareness about child labour.
The Global March will raise awareness and concern about child labour among all members of the public. The March will inform people about the causes and consequences of child labour and the constructive actions that can be taken against it. The March will pay special attention to the exploitation of young girls and to forms of child labour, such as family, domestic and agricultural labour, that have been less visible.
11. Urge states to ratify and enforce existing conventions and laws on child labour and education.
The Global March will demand that states live up to the commitments they have made to children in numerous international conventions and declarations, constitutional guarantees, and national laws. The March will call for states to devote the maximum possible resources and attention to the implementation of time-bound action plans to fulfill these promises. The March will urge that such programs conform, in particular, to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the international standards established by the International Labour Organisation through ILO Convention 138 and other agreements. The March will further call on the ILO to require its members to implement time-bound action plans for the progressive elimination of child labour and to monitor state compliance with this requirement in association with children, parents, NGOs and other competent bodies. The ILO will also be asked to ensure that the proposed new convention on "the most intolerable forms of child labour" is prepared in consultation with the concerned parties and reinforces and builds on existing conventions.
III. Mobilise the maximum possible national and international resources to support education for all children.
The Global March will pursue all available means to increase the level of support locally, nationally and internationally for free, compulsory and meaningful education, accessible for all girls and boys. The March will insist that children’s education be a top priority in local, state/provincial and national budgets. The March will also call on international development agencies, development banks and donors to give education the support it needs. To mobilise further funds for education, the March will advocate for debt and debt service reduction in favour of national and international educational programmes. The Global March will urge that efforts be directed to both increasing the quality and relevance of education and ensuring that it is universally accessible.
IV- Mobilise public opinion and action against the broader injustices contributing to child labour.
The Global March will mobilise public opinion and action against the social, cultural and economic injustices within societies that contribute to child labour, such as discrimination against women and minorities, the unfair distribution of land and resources, illegal labour practices, and massive unemployment; and also against injustices between nations, such as the indebtedness of the South, inappropriate Structural Adjustment Programs, and unfair terms of globalisation.
V. Demand the immediate elimination of the most exploitative forms of child labour.
The Global March will demand that all possible measures be taken for the immediate elimination of the most exploitative and dangerous forms of child labour. These forms include, for example, slavery and slavery-like practices, forced or compulsory labour, bonded labour, work in hazardous circumstances, the use of children in military forces, and the use of children in prostitution, pornography and the drug trade. The March will promote all possible means to prevent and eliminate these abuses. The March will also advocate the strengthening and establishment of permanent national and local protection mechanisms to safeguard the rights of children in need of special protection.
VI. Promote positive actions by employers and consumers.
The Global March will call upon employers to begin programs to replace child labourers with adults - preferably from the same family - working for a decent wage under fair labour conditions, and to implement transitional measures to ensure the safety, security and well-being of the children. The March will further ask employers to improve and properly regulate working conditions and hours for children above the minimum age for employment, in accordance with national and international laws and standards, whichever is higher. Such programs could take on many forms, one of the most effective being independently- monitored codes of conduct that the employers commit themselves to. The Global March will further urge genuinely concerned business people to demonstrate leadership in their industries and organise their colleagues to participate in these programs and other actions.
The March will promote - among consumers in all countries - products made without child labour and enterprises that uphold the rights of children and provide decent employment for adults.
VII. Ensure the proper rehabilitation and reintegration of child labourers.
The Global March will demand that children freed from labour promptly receive the comprehensive programs of rehabilitation, education and development necessary to make the transition from labour to healthy childhood. This must include provision of viable and sustainable livelihood options for their families. The March will call for the strengthening of policies, actions and funding to support such programs for these children. The programs should be of the highest standard and should offer children the maximum range of opportunities for their further growth and development. These measures should be carried out with the fullest participation of children and their families and will be a critical and urgent part of efforts to break the cycle of poverty and exploitation.
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