Child labour survivors at India's Bal Ashram kick start campaign for social protection to end child labour and extreme poverty.
This week, children from Bal Ashram's Banjara Communities have kickstarted an online campaign to demand social protection to end child labour. The children of Bal Ashram are survivors of child labour, rescued by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi's Bachpan Bachao Andolan and living at the ashram as part of their rehabilitation.
Throughout September, survivors of child labour and youth activists all over the world will be taking our 'umbrella' action: as umbrellas protect you from the worst of the weather, social protection shelters you from the worst of circumstances. But right now, less than half the world's population has access to even one form of social protection. When it comes to children, the picture is even worse: almost 75% of the world's children have no access to any kind of social protection. This is a disaster - because we know social protection can end child labour.
"It is our right to be free & to dream, we want books & pencils in our hand not tools & weapons, we want to share this with our parliamentarians & politicians: listen to our pleas & do not ignore what we say!"
The children of Bal Ashram
Alongside quality public services, adequate and reliable social protection can accelerate an end to child labour, by preventing the kind of extreme poverty which forces children to work. When families have access to social protection, such as a basic income, this enables them to cover their most fundamental needs and to send their children to school instead of work, breaking the cycle of poverty.
Social protection which protects both children and their caregivers creates more resilient families, yet this level of protection remains limited mainly to wealthier countries. If all families, particularly those who are most in need, have access to the kind of social protection which provides a resilient foundation, and which works in tandem with responsive, relevant, and resourced public services, it is clear from decades of evidence that the impact on children and on child labour could be transformative.
The Fair Share to End Child Labour campaign, working with our youth-led partner organisation 100 Million, is supporting youth activists to take the umbrella action and will share all images with world leaders at two critical events with world leaders during the UN General Assembly.