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Joint Call for Participation

Joint Call for equal, inclusive and transparent children´s participation at the V Global Conference on Child Labour, 15th-20th May 2022, Durban/South Africa

This public statement comes from working children’s representatives, including 14 movements of working children, more than 150 NGOs and more than 100 researchers dedicated to support working children. It addresses the organisers of the upcoming V Global Conference on Child Labour, particularly the South African Government and the ILO.

It is with great interest and support that we notice the preparations for a Children’sForum at the V Global Conference on Child Labour in Durban/ South Africa (15th-20th May 2022). Child Ambassadors will be selected prior to the conference to speak on behalf of working children worldwide and represent their views in dialogues with all stakeholders. We understand them as representatives of the diversity of working children around the globe. This is fully in line with the right of each child to be heard in all matters affecting their lives as enshrined in Article 12of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, we encourage children’s participation also in broader sessions at the conference, e.g. as panelists in the thematic panel discussions, in which they can share their rich experience and knowledge in dialogues with all stakeholders involved.

List of signatories of the Joint Call

In 2009, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted nine Basic Requirements for effective, ethical and meaningful participation of children in “all processes in which a child or children are heard and participate” (CRC/C/GC/12 ).These processes need to be (1) transparent and informative, (2) voluntary, (3) respectful, (4) relevant, (5) child-friendly, (6) inclusive, (7) supported by training (for adults), (8) safe and sensitive to risk and (9) accountable.

We call on the conference organisers to ensure equal, inclusive and transparentselection processes through the application of these Basic Requirements. Fromour point of view, it is particularly important to ensure:

  • Equal representation of children from different workplaces (formal/ informal, paid/ unpaid, self-employed/ contract-based, rural/urban, organised/ non-organised etc.),
  • Equal involvement of the most vulnerable groups, including: stateless, refugee,migrant and displaced children, street children, children with disabilities andchildren from indigenous communities,
  • Equitable representation of the world regions (with opportunities for more representatives from regions where there are higher numbers of working children and social movements of working children).

We recognise that this demands a lot of resources and time invest. We herewith offer our joint support in helping to ensure effective, ethical and meaningful participation of children
at the V Global Conference on Child Labour.