Renata Bruzova, ARISE Social Program Manager | Switzerland | 28 November 2016
First launched by the ILO in 2002, WDACL is intended to be an opportunity to encourage policy discussions involving government ministries and UN agencies, and to celebrate with children and their families at community level. Since the first WDACL, the event has grown in popularity and is now commemorated in 40 countries. This year the focus was on ending child labor in supply chains. Our program is proof that strong supply chain management and corporate action on the issue can have successful outcomes and create positive change.
In Geneva we attended an event to mark the World Day on 8 June in the UN’s Human Rights Council room of the Palais des Nations. There was a high-level panel discussion, which was preceded by a musical performance by the “Choeur pour l’abolition du travail des enfants”, a group of artists and media professionals that joined together in 2013 to sensitize the public on the worst forms of child labor. A film of the event was published by the ILO at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWpz1Pyms6k.
We also celebrated in all other countries where ARISE is active. And despite being spread across several continents, as a team, we shared our experiences via mobile messenger services with photos, stories and words of encouragement. We heard about official events, cultural performances and even a solidarity walk.
In Zambia, official events were kicked off at an event attended by the country’s Deputy Minister of Labour, Permanent Secretary of Home Affairs, other government officials, representatives of business and non-governmental organizations. In Malawi a commemorative event was presided by Malawi’s President, Peter Mutharika, and ARISE was mentioned as a reference project for business owners and the general public. Participants also heard the story of David Joseph, an ARISE beneficiary who became a carpenter through ARISE vocational training, and now has a job, has built a home for his family, and can provide for his siblings to attend school. At a less official event in Lilongwe, many supporters took part in a solidarity walk against child labor. In Brazil, ARISE schools in Sobradinho, Arroio do Tigre, Ibaram and Lagoa Bonita do Sul, celebrated with festivities that involved parodies, poems, drawing exhibitions, special lunches and even inflatable toys!
This year was the first that we celebrated in Tanzania. Official events involved a capacity building workshop for line Ministry staff at regional and district levels in Tabora. The Tabora Regional Commissioner, Mr. Aggrey Mwanri officially opened the advocacy campaign followed by capacity building workshop. The event was attended by staff from the Labour and Agriculture ministries, JTI, the ILO, UNICEF, FAO and other local organizations.
It’s good to celebrate and to take stock, but is also a reminder that there are still many children engaged in child labor all around the world. It motivates us even more.