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From the Global March International Secretariat
Childhood is a sacred time. Itís a time to play to learn, to grow and to enjoy friendships and family. Itís a time when every child should have a chance to develop their potential and enjoy bright plans for their future. But for too many children childhood is a lost dream
. Around the world an estimated 250 million children are found working, well before their fragile bones and impressionable souls are ready. They are toiling from the early hours of the morning until well past dark. Maybe youíll find Flavia selling flowers to passing tourists on the street of Rio, maybe youíll spot Mohan hunched over in a darkened carpet factory near Mirzapur, or maybe youíll watch Esther sweeping the floors of a middle-class Nairobi household. The sun never sets on the world of the working child, when at every moment of every day there are tens of millions of young children working somewhere on the earth.
In a world that has advanced so much over recent years, it is almost unimaginable that we can still force children, the most vulnerable section of society, to give up their future and work for their survival. But the truth is that nothing will change unless we are determined to change it . This is why a group of leading social organisations came together to plan a Global March Against Child Labour. They decided that to stop this intolerable abuse of children, they would need to organise a Global March that called the worldís attention to the problem and demanded action. The mission of the March would be:
"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 childís physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development."
Within six months the movement had grown to include over 350 organisations spanning 82 countries and representing over 200 million people. Now the Global March is shaping up to be the largest single social intervention in history for the benefit of children.
What can you do to help the March?
I The Global March is foremost a peopleís March. Everyone is welcome to join and carry us closer to a world without child labour.
Global March International Secretariat
L-6 Kalkaji, New Delhi-19, India
Tel: (91 11) 622-4899, 621-0807
Fax: (91 11) 623-6818, 621-8210
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