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How governments, Australians and World Vision are working together to end child labour

World Vision
12 September 2014 by Ruth Dearnley
How governments, Australians and World Vision are working together to end child labour

Letters sent and meetings with MPs all around Australia led to a Motion in the Senate, encouraging the G20 Employment Ministers to discuss the elimination of child labour.

Congratulations! Your voice has been heard!

Yesterday the G20 Employment Ministers met to discuss the future of economic growth. For the first time ever, they took a strong stand against child labour. They also agreed on the importance of prioritising measures to support under represented and vulnerable groups to help them escape working in poverty and to eliminate forced and child labour.

This is a remarkable outcome.

As the Minister of Employment stated:

“…we said we’d take a strong stand against forced and child labour. And those sort of statements of principal do send a message to the world, keeping in mind that the G20 countries represent two-thirds of the world’s population and 85 per cent of the economic activity of the world. So in two-thirds of the world’s populations, their governments are willing to sign-on to a document talking about child labour, forced labour… I think that one example sends a very strong message”.

As a public advocate, I have worked on numerous amazing labour rights and human rights campaigns over the past decade – but to me, this one really stands out. This demonstrates how much can be achieved when we all work together to achieve change.

It is a landmark achievement that the world’s 20 largest economies – collectively responsible for 85% of global income – are taking steps to consider the 168 million child labourers that work at the expense of their health, development and education.

This much needed recognition that child labour not only affects the child, it also increases adult unemployment and lower wages, reduced direct foreign investment and slowing technological progress in the workplace. And therefore, child labour is an issue that affects all of us – and requires a response from individuals, businesses, Governments and NGOs.

This campaign achieved that. It showed how if we all work together, we can make real change happen. And importantly, this could not have happened without your help. It was the strong voice of social justice advocates from around the world speaking up to ensure that our global economic growth is in the best interests of the world’s most vulnerable children that helped make this happen.

In Australia, you sent hundreds of letters to your local MPs asking them to champion an end to child labour.

You had meetings with your local Senators and MPs, who spoke out in Parliament and urged the G20 Employment Ministers to discuss the elimination of child labour.

Actions like this make a real difference in the lives of children around the world. The fight is not yet over, but it is the sustained investment of NGOs, Governments, businesses and actions from caring people like you, that have helped the number of child labourers decrease by a third since 2000.  With this progress and sustained action, we will see an end to child labour.

Thank you for all that you do!

If you’re happy about this news, tweet or write a thank you message to the G20 Employment Ministers.


Ruth Dearnley Ruth Dearnley

Ruth is the former Public Advocacy Manager at World Vision Australia and a passionate advocate for all the little things we can all do to make a more just world.


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