In these days of war, children worldwide continue to become victims of forced, abusive child labor. As a result, The Kids'
Campaign (us) continue to raise awareness of the ways child labor can be ended.
We get many requests from adults and children who want more information on specific actions they can take to end child labor. Here are our 5 suggestions for ending child labor followed by some emails thanking us for standing up and speaking out for child laborers. We need you to raise your voice, too.
5 Ways to end child labor:
1. education - every child should be free and in school until at least age 14
2. legislation - fight for tougher international laws that protect children (like ILO 182) www.globalmarch.org
3. consumer power - ask before you buy if the item is guaranteed child labor free
4. corporate power - demand that corporations like Nike and Disney have publically posted their "worker code of conduct." This simple document tells the world who works in the factories and/or fields of that corporation. What? They don't post their worker code of conduct? That's bad for children and bad for business.
5. poverty - micro-credit loans made to poor mothers help those mothers start up their own small craft business. One small loan can lift an entire family out of poverty and thus break the cycle of child labor
Here are 7 emails we've received in March 2003:
Dear School for Iqbal, thank you very much! we have a child labor billboard going up too! i greatly appreciat how you wrote back! my teacher will be soo happy! i am very excited to see what we can do
Kensington, CT USA
I am so impressed with all your work with Iqbal, and after his death, your increased efforts to fulfill his dream of freed children. I am writing a thesis paper for my English class on the effectiveness of child labor programs and what can be done to improve and increase their success rates. Upon reading about your school, I was amazed at your influence. Continue your exemplary work, because you are changing the future.
Subj: more informations
Date: 03/07/2003 4:23:37 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: email@example.com (126¡ Circolo - Scuola R. Balzani - Roma)
this is a primary school of Rome, Italy. Some weks ago our school was named "Iqbal Masih", we are searching for more informations about Iqbal, expectilly songs from Pakistan. May you help us?
Attilio Di Sanza
It was an honor to be among the younger sisters and brothers of the students who welcomed Iqbal, a child laborer from Pakistan. They were students who built a school in Pakistan in his memory. They are the students who know what it means to be child activists. They know what it means to have a dream and make it come true.
... They told us about Iqbal's days chained to a loom in a carpet factory, his visit to their school after winning the Reebok International Human Rights Award, and his murder a few months later committed by those that had enslaved him. These students' brothers and sisters had met Iqbal. They sat in the chair in which Iqbal sat. These students had a personal connection to him that inspired them to want to fight for other children like him.
The Netherlands, Etten-Leur
I'm shocked! I was looking on the web for a subject for a lesson about child slavery. I'm a student, and I'm learning to be a teacher. My English is not so good but the story on your website make me shock. Thanks to your webside i have a great idea (thanks to) you to make a week full of informatie about Iqbal. He is the person who will make the story more real. Because it's unbelieveble that this happend and still is happening. This week is becaming Iqbal's week! And i make sure off that the children (of Iqbal's age) always will remember him.
The students who take part in the Kids' Campaign at the Broad Meadows Middle School in Quincy, MA, are quite simply awesome. We are always surprised by their efforts to end forced child labor.
These young people not only raised funds to build a school in Pakistan, but also have been mentioned in new human rights books, have spoken at the United Nations not once, but three times, on Capitol Hill, at untold numbers of schools, churches and, finally, a year ago December, at the Ziv Mitzvah Heroes Conference in Providence, Rhode Island. Participants at that conference heard more than twelve of our inspiring Mitzvah heroes, but it was the Broad Meadows kids' presentation delivered by four outstanding young people that brought the audience to its feet in a rousing round of applause.
Why the standing ovation? They are "just kids" - but much more: They just do it, unencumbered by many rationales and pseudo-rationales of why It Can't Be Done.
They are by no means naive about the horrors of child labor around the world, but they personify, "unhn,-Temimut," that quality of innocence that we all need when we set out to do Tikkun Olam in defiance of all injustice and all voices, echoes and shouts of "No! It can't be done!"
Danny Siegel, author and activist
I'm glad to hear the students of Broad Meadows continue to work toward making the world a better place.
I have worked with many young men and women who have graduated from our US Service Academies and are currently serving in the Middle East. One young man from Plymouth and a recent graduate of West Point initiated an effort to assist kids in need at a war damaged school in Kosovo.
In this very sad and difficult time, the positive work of people like you reminds us all, there is still much good happening around us. You help us to keep hope and the dream that one day we may evolve into a world that will learn to live peacefully by taking care of one another.
I am happy to pass onto Congressman William Delahunt of Massachusetts the info about Broad Meadows' Operation Day's Work-USA. Thanks.
The Office of Congressman William Delahunt
U.S. House of Representatives