50,000 signatures reached
To: Ban Ki-moon, General Secretary, United Nations
Tell the UN: End Child Slavery
Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor including recruitment and the use of child soldiers and child slavery, and end child labor in all its forms by 2025.
Why is this important?
The Sustainable Development Goals, now under discussion, represent the international community’s crucial recognition that child labor and contemporary slavery hinder the efforts of people to work their way out of poverty.
We’ve made great strides toward reducing child labor, but we still have far more work to do. Right now, child labor remains at an all-time high: One in 10 of the world’s children work, many in forced labor.(1) Children toil in carpet factories, leather tanneries and street markets.
Clearly our work is not over. And that’s why each one of us needs to stand up.
Right now, because the United Nations is holding discussions on the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
The Sustainable Development Goals, now under discussion, must represent the international community’s crucial recognition that child labor and contemporary slavery hinder the efforts of people to work their way out of a vicious circle poverty and deprivation.
We have a small window of opportunity to get the UN to add strong language in the goals that would make it clear that countries must take measures to eradicate forced labor, secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor and end child labor by 2025.
In the United States, some 400,000 children toil in tobacco fields, fruit farms and other agribusiness,(2) where they often labor up to 60 hours a week in extreme heat, use dangerous tools and machinery and are exposed to toxic pesticides. The long-term effects of pesticide exposure during childhood can include cancer and problems with learning and cognition.
Yanamaria W., 14, who worked on farms in central Kentucky in 2013 with her parents and 13-year-old brother, describes her experience. “I was in the field when they started spraying…. I can stand the heat for a long time, but when they spray, then I start to feel woozy and tired. Sometimes it looks like everything is spinning.”(3)
All told, 5.5 million children are forced to work.(4)
Most child laborers cannot get the education they need to lift them out of poverty and so the chances are high that their children, too, will be forced to work to help support their families.
1 ILO: “Marking Progress against Child Labour: Global Estimates and Trends,” 2000-2012. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---ipec/documents/publication/wcms_221513.pdf
2 “The Child Labor Coalition Welcomes the Reintroduction of the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment,” June 17, 2013. http://stopchildlabor.org/?tag=care-act
3 Human Rights Watch: “Tobacco’s Hidden Children,” May 14, 2014.http://www.hrw.org/node/125315/section/3
4 ILO: “Global Estimate of Forced Labour,” 2012. file:///C:/Users/TConnell/Downloads/ILO%20global%20estimate%20of%20forced%20labour.pdf
How it will be delivered
This petition will be hand-delivered to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in January, and the more people who sign on around the world, the more pressure it creates on the UN to act.