UN / CHILD LABOUR ELIMINATION

21-Jan-2021 00:02:59
At an event to launch the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, a survivor challenged leaders to “not just only imagine a world without child labour, but to act on it so it becomes our reality." UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / CHILD LABOUR ELIMINATION
TRT: 2:59
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 21 JANUARY 2021, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

21 JANUARY 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Multiple screens, Amar Lal speaking moderator
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Amar Lal, survivor of child labour and child rights lawyer:
"There was a time when I couldn't imagine my life out of the stone quarry, but today, I would like to challenge everyone who are sitting today, who are participating today, to not just only imagine a world without child labour, but to act on it so it becomes our reality."
4. Multiple screens, moderator speaking to Amar Lal
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO):
"The ILO in itself will be producing new global estimates on the levels of child labour. It doesn't sound very exciting, more numbers, do we need them? Well, yes we do because when we know what works and what doesn't work and see where the numbers are going down and where the problem lay, we can tailor our efforts to meet the needs that are still out there."
6. Multiple screens, Guy Ryder speaking moderator
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
"This year is a unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on child labour and rally the world behind our call to end it once and for all. As we emerge from the pandemic, let us emerge with stronger systems that can support a child's right to safety and to education to the future of his or her choosing - to be a lawyer along with Amar - and to support families as they deal with the economic fallout of COVID-19."
8. Multiple screens, moderator speaking to Henrietta Fore
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate:
"We know that the child who is pushed into child labour and slavery is the save child would is denied education, who is living in abject poverty, who has no access to health and safety, and whose parents are not ensured decent wages and have no safety net of social protection programmes. That child is one. But if we remain divided and fragmented, we cannot bring every child out of this crisis, out of this menace."
10. Multiple screens, moderator speaking to Kailash Satyarthi
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate:
"We are demanding a fair share of resources and that means budgetary allocations as well as overseas development aid; fair share of policies and that means adequate laws and their timely enforcement; and fair share social protection for the most marginalized children."
12. Multiple screens, moderator speaking to Kailash Satyarthi
STORYLINE
At an event to launch the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, a survivor challenged leaders to “not just only imagine a world without child labour, but to act on it so it becomes our reality."

Speaking today (21 Jan) at a virtual event to launch the year, Amar Lal, a survivor of child labour himself and a child rights lawyer said his life was at risk every single day as he and his family were born in bonded labour. He said a an activist helped his parents understand the importance of education after which he was able to go to school and eventually become a lawyer.

Lal said much has been done, but it is not enough. He said as a lawyer he studies laws, regulations, and policies but on their own they are not enough. He called for a commitment to implementation, enforcement and action now.

SOUNDBITE (English) Amar Lal, survivor of child labour and child rights lawyer:
"There was a time when I couldn't imagine my life out of the stone quarry, but today, I would like to challenge everyone who are sitting today, who are participating today, to not just only imagine a world without child labour, but to act on it so it becomes our reality."

The head of the International Labour Organization (ILO) said the world already made commitment to end child labour by 2025 and this year must be the moment when commitment is acted upon.

Ryder said there are still 152 million children engaged in child labour right now, which seems like an extraordinary figure but is actually 100 million less than at the beginning of this century. He stressed that the task of ending child labour can be done but more action is needed.

The ILO chief stressed the importance of partnerships, adding that everyone can make their own efforts however big or small. He noted that the ILO has partnerships with other UN agencies to address specific problem areas including with UNICEF, FAO, and IOM.

He said, "The ILO in itself will be producing new global estimates on the levels of child labour. It doesn't sound very exciting, more numbers, do we need them? Well, yes we do because when we know what works and what doesn't work and see where the numbers are going down and where the problem lay, we can tailor our efforts to meet the needs that are still out there."

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said COVID-19 exacerbated the vulnerability of children for child labour. She said, even before the pandemic, the world was dealing with rising poverty and low wages, eroding social protections, lack of quality education, and the normalization of children’s work through weak laws, and a culture of impunity in many countries around the world.

Fore said, for millions of children already engaged in child labour, the pandemic is translating into longer working hours and worsening conditions and school closures are making matters worse. She added that lingering gender inequalities are making girls more vulnerable and noted that lockdowns are dramatically reducing access to child protection services.

The UNICEF Executive Director stressed however that there were hopeful signs as many governments accelerated efforts to deploy social workers in communities, and some are strengthening online learning platforms and expanding social protection programmes including through cash transfers to the most vulnerable.

She said UNICEF is calling for more investment in child protection programmes that prevent and respond to all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation including child labour .

Fore added, "This year is a unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on child labour and rally the world behind our call to end it once and for all. As we emerge from the pandemic, let us emerge with stronger systems that can support a child's right to safety and to education to the future of his or her choosing - to be a lawyer along with Amar - and to support families as they deal with the economic fallout of COVID-19."

Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said no one is free until every child is free from exploitation. He said civil society, including NGOs, trade unions, teachers’ organizations, business, and media among other, has played a significant role in the fight against child labour.

Satyarthi said the world cannot afford to lose an entire generation and the progress made in the last few decades in the post-pandemic era.

He said, "We know that the child who is pushed into child labour and slavery is the save child would is denied education, who is living in abject poverty, who has no access to health and safety, and whose parents are not ensured decent wages and have no safety net of social protection programmes. That child is one. But if we remain divided and fragmented, we cannot bring every child out of this crisis, out of this menace."


The Nobel Peace Laureate said civil society will launch the ‘Fair Share to End Child Labour Campaign" in one of the largest civil society coalitions in history to strengthen the efforts of this year.

He said, "We are demanding a fair share of resources and that means budgetary allocations as well as overseas development aid; fair share of policies and that means adequate laws and their timely enforcement; and fair share social protection for the most marginalized children."

Satyarthi said children are not willing to listen to rhetoric’s of good intent, rather they need action as their childhoods cannot wait. He called on leaders to march from commitment to action and from promises to compassionate leadership and bold initiative.
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