Global march against child labor

Global march against child labor

The Global march against child labor came about in 1998 due to the overwhelming response of the need to end child labor. It was a grass roots movement that motivated many individuals and organizations to come together and fight against child labor. This not an annual march.

The main goals of this movement was to:
*"Protect and promote the rights of all children, especially the rights to receive free, meaningful education"]
*"To be free from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be damaging to a child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development". The march was very successful and it achieved its purpose by allowing changes to occur with the policies of child labor with the International Labor Organization (ILO)


This march began in January 17, 1998 under the leadership of Kailash Satyarthi [ [ CRIN - Child Rights Information Network - Organisations - Global March Against Child Labour ] ] This event was a global conjuncture that brought non-governmental organizations (NGOs), trade unions, teachers, children and individuals together to fight against child labor. People from all over the world came together. There were people who marched only within their region and there were others who continued to Geneva, Switzerland. They were called the core marchers.

The marchers united and advanced through Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the U.S. Their final destination was Geneva, Switzerland where the International Labor Organization (ILO) meeting was taking place. At this conference, the issues of child labor and implementing new policies in order to prevent it on the global level were discussed. This march was significant at the ILO convention against the worst forms of child labor otherwise known as Convention no. 182, because:
#The marchers opinions were heavily considered when writing out the draft.
#Also, it became the fastest ratified convention history of ILO with 150 countries adopting this draft.

This march was important to children in the work field since the underlying cause was to banish economic exploitation. Not only in labor fields but also through human trafficking where children are usually sold off for sexual services.

Organizations that are Involved

Currently, there are many organizations that supported the cause of the global march. They are:

*Education International]
*Oxfam International
*Action Aid
*World Vision
*Social Alert
*World Confederation of Teachers
*Save the Children Fund (UK)
*Public Services International (PSI)

Benefits of this March

This march was important to children because it discourages them to experience economic exploitation in the labor field such as human trafficking. The policies that were introduced through this march emphasized highly on education. When children are educated it helps the economy since they are more likely to get out of their poverty stricken situation. By limiting education, it is limiting the prosperity of the nation.

Origins of this March

The march had 140 different countries that participated the act with thousands of partners. [] It consisted of events, rallies, foot marches and bus caravans. [http//] The first country that began the march was in Manila, Philippines on January 17, 1998. The marches took place in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the United States. Out of all of those people who participated in the march, only the select few known as the core marchers moved on to Geneva, Switzerland where the ILO were meeting for a possible revision of a new international convention on the most intolerable forms of child labor (Convention no. 182).]

The United States led their own nationwide march. It began in Los Angeles, California on May 2, 1998. The marchers went through all the major cities such as: Dallas, Little Rock, St Louis, Detroit and New York. The last city they visited was Washington, D.C. on May 26, 1998. From there, the core marchers went to Geneva, Switzerland. "The U.S. march has two main goals: to focus attention on domestic child labor problems, particularly those related to sweatshops and migrant agricultural work, and to encourage consumers to demand, retailers to sell and manufacturers to produce child-labor-free goods".

Rise to Prominence

The march was a success since the revision of a new international convention on the most intolerable forms of child labor Convention No 182 was changed the following year. Through this march, Convention no. 182 became the fastest ratified law. [ [ Global March Against Child Labour - From Exploitation to Education ] ] This decree became the guideline for governments internationally when creating labor laws. Currently, over 150 countries have adopted Convention no. 182 in their own nation.

Kailash Satyarthi is largely responsible for taking the initiative of organizing this march. He had a vision of eliminating child labor everywhere and allowing education to become highly accessible for children. Kailash Satyarthi was the moving force in shifting our attention to child labor as a social issue. Through his tireless efforts, he has “brought political and judiciary machinery into action, and sensitized media in favor of the most oppressed children”. [http://] His work did not stop after this march instead, he moved on to other projects such as Global Campaign for Education to promote universal education.


This march initiated other events to come together to fight against child labor. The march spread the awareness of eliminating child labor in our society and worldwide. Here are some examples of events that branched off from this march:
*South Asian March against Child Trafficking
*UN announced the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking
*Global Campaign for Education
*The World Cup Campaign 2002
*Fair Chocolate for the World
*Northern Advocacy Office in Washington D.C.

Recent Events

The next country to encounter the march is Zimbabwe. The march will take place on December 1st-31st, 2007. It will start at Harare and end in Plumtree. The goal is to combat child labor and to spread education to the children of that country. Media outlets will be used to promote this event through television, newspaper and radio. One of the major organizations that are contributing to this march is the New Hope Foundation.


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