100 Million March
“The way to ensure children’s well-being is through a holistic, multi-dimensional approach of prevention, protection and policy. Building global awareness around how children are exploited is the single most effective way to prevent them from being exploited in the first place. ”
— KAILASH SATYARTHI, 2014 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE
For the past 35 years, Kailash Satyarthi has worked tirelessly to fight the prevalence of child laborers globally and increase the number of children enrolled in school. His efforts have lead to the establishment of three rehabilitation centers in India, and the rescue of over 8o,000 children from slavery.
In 1998, Kailash lead the first Global March Against Child Labor. The campaign, which took place over five continents with over 7.3 million marchers, led to the adoption of the ILO Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labor in 1999, and added massive fuel to the global push for children's rights. Since 1998, there has been a reduction in child labor from 250 million to 168 million.
Of those 168 million, 85 million are engaged in hazardous work, 5.5 million are enslaved and, every year, 1.2 million are trafficked. Another 124 million children are out of school. Furthermore, the majority of children most vulnerable to exploitation come from the most impoverished communities in the world. There is still an enormous lack of awareness in the public and among governments, there is still tremendous work to be done. In a 2013 survey of over 1,000 Americans, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, only 1 percent estimated the number of child laborers to be as high as it actually is: over 150 million. 73% of survey respondents said there were fewer than 1 million.
In response to this lack of global outrage, Kailash is launching the 100 Million for 100 Million Campaign, a global campaign focused on engaging and mobilizing youth citizens in pursuit of justice for children around the world. Partners will include organizations, individuals and communities around the world, united in solidarity to fight child labor and exploitation.
The campaign advocates for over 100 million children who have been forced into labor and denied their education. On "Back to School Day," the 18th of October 2017, parliamentarians across the world will be invited to visit the schools and communities where they grew up. Bringing these leaders back to schools is a powerful opportunity to secure their support in building a world where every child is free to experience education.