Online March Against Child Labor
July 1998 Update
What is the Online March?
The Online March or "virtual march" against child labor is created by the
Broad Meadows Middle School students in support of The Global March Against
Child Labor which is an actual march to end child labor. The Global March
crossed five continents in an attempt to raise awareness of forced, abusive
child exploitation around the world. For those too young or unable to actually
march, the Broad Meadows students created a virtual march.
The Kids Online March Against Child Labor was launched in November
of 1997. The goal : to move 3,000 youth to write email messages calling for
an end to child labor AND to present these messages to the policy makers
who will rewrite international child labor agreements at the June 1998
International Labor Organization Conference in Geneva , Switzerland. The
ILO is a special section of the United Nations. At a symbolic mile a message,
3,000 messages represent a virtual marching across America against child
On June 1, 1998, we received email message number 3,000. WE DID IT! We
met and hand delivered copies of these 3,000 emails to : U.S. Secretary of
Labor Alexis Herman ; to Global March organizer Khalaish Sathyari of India
; to White House Human Rights Advisor Eric Schwartz ; to ILO delegate Andrew
Samet ( head of the U.S. delegation in Geneva ) ; and to U.S. National Security
Advisor Leon Feurth. All messages are posted on our Online March section
of the U.S. Global March web site which can be viewed by the 1,500 ILO delegates
now meeting in Geneva. The address is:
Want to get involved in the campaign ?
We don't want your money, just your voice! If you had the chance, what would
you say to people who were about to change child labor laws? Well, guess
what? International Child Labor agreements are going to change THIS YEAR
and you are invited to get involved. A class or individual can send
a message to the people who will be rewriting the ways governments treat
child labor. UNICEF estimates that over 200 million children worldwide are
in forced, abusive child labor and NOT in school. That may change in Geneva.
Who is rewriting international child labor agreements? When?
Representatives from almost every nation in the world are heading to Geneva,
Switzerland in June 1998 to rewite child labor laws at the International
Labor Organization's Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Each nation, including the U.S., is sending delegates to Geneva. Before those
delegates create new child labor agreements, they should hear from as many
people as possible. Now is the hour and this is the place for YOU to raise
your voice, online, against forced, abusive child labor.
What are adults doing about this Geneva convention?
To get involved, adults organized actual marches against child labor on five
continents. These "Global Marches Against Child Labor" are now crossing Africa,
Asia and South America. The on-foot march crossed the USA in May 1998, beginning
in L.A. and marched or drove 3,000 miles across America to Washington, D.C.
What can YOU do?
It's great that adults are marching, but WHAT ABOUT US? What about those
who are too young to march, unable to march or not on the march route?
Several 8th graders from the Broad Meadows Middle School in Quincy,
Massachusetts, sent an email to the Global March organizers suggesting that
they should add a virtual march. The march organizers agreed.
As a result, we want to announce that together with the Robert F. Kennedy
Memorial Center for Human Rights in Washington, DC, and other groups, these
8th graders have created The Young Peoples Online March Against
Child Labor, for those who want to get involved but are too young
or unable to march.
You are invited to join this student created VIRTUAL MARCH against child
What is the goal of The Online March?
The goal is to get 3,000 anti-child labor messages from youth, teachers and
others posted on our Kids Online March Against Child Labor web
site. Each message posted will symbolize a virtual mile marched against child
labor . If we reach our goal of getting 3,000 messages, at a mile a message,
we will have succeeded in marching symbolically across the U.S.A. against
The goal is for the online voices of youth and others to stretch from coast
to coast and reach all the way to the child labor delegates in Geneva,
Switzerland. 3,000 email voices cannot be ignored by the ILO delegates.
You can e-mail a message today. You don't have to write a lot, just
raise your voice. Now is the hour to speak up, and this is the place where
it can be done. Send your message to:
Who is already involved and already marched a virtual mile?
Third grade students in Zuni, New Mexico marched several virtual miles; fifth
grade students in Milton, Massachusetts marched a virtual mile. Students
have also passed the word on to parents and older sisters and brothers. As
a result, we have received "virtual miles" from a USC student, a Seton Hall
Law School Student, a Notre Dame student, and the President of Wellesley
College. The Online March has crossed borders, too. Messages have been received
from an 11 year old in Pakistan, a sixth grade class in Ireland, from students
in Australia who on March 11, 1998, set up lap top computers in front of
their Capital Building to collect "virtual miles" from Australians entering
and leaving a lawmaking session.
So, what will YOU say to people who are changing international working
conditions for children and child labor agreements? Will you also do research,
contact your lawmakers , farmworkers, exporters and importers? By the way,
where was your sweatshirt or soccer ball made? WHO made it? Who picked
the food you ate today? What do you think of these 5 steps for ending child
All children must go to primary school ... PERIOD.
Companies must monitor their overseas factories and fields to guarantee
no children are there
Consumers like you must ask "Who made this?" or "Who picked this ?" before
Governments must pass and ENFORCE tough laws protecting children
Micro credit loans must be made available to poor mothers to allow them
to buy back children sold into bondage AND to start up a small business
If all that happens, could the cycle of poverty be broken
and would that end child labor?
Please send your message to
endchlabor@AOL.com . Every
message you send will be posted on the U.S. Global March web site
. Geneva, 1998, could be the beginning of the end of child labor.
Won't you get involved by raising your voice online today? The SN members
from the Broad Meadows School (Amy, Nicole, Amanda, Griea, Mike, etc.) are
the same young people who thought up
The Kids Campaign to
Build A School for Iqbal which won the 1997 Minnesota Advocates for
Human Rights Award and the 1995 Reebok International Youth-in-Action human
What happens to email messages a class or individual
All email "virtual miles" should be sent to
endchlabor@AOL.com and all
messages will be posted at http://www.globalmarch-us.org
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