Press Release: Working children call for their rights

(Buenos Aires / Duisburg / Osnabrück, 14.11.2017) Children from 36 countries around the world raise their voice against exploitation and urgently ask for policies ensuring their rights. They took part in the campaign “It’s Time to Talk! – Children’s Views on Children’s Work” run by the children’s rights organizations Kindernothilfe and the International Federation of Terre des Hommes and presented the results at the IV Global Conference on Child Labour in Argentina today.

1 822 girls and boys aged 5 to 18 in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Europe were consulted about their working lives. Children first and foremost asked for respect and expect to be entitled to be heard in local, national and global decision making processes. “Working children usually are not asked about their perspectives, their reasons and dreams although participation of children is a right to every child. Time to Talk brings voices of children to the international level“, said Anne Jacob, child rights expert of the Kindernothilfe and project manager of the “Time to Talk” campaign.
Children  surveyed have a clear opinion on the worst forms of child labour: They strongly condemn exploitative, dangerous and harmful occupations and call for a rigorous interposition of legislation, the economy and politics. However, when the conditions are met, working children and young people also see positive aspects of their work: they can support their parents in order to contribute to low family income; finance their own school visit or earn professional skills for their future. Children especially expressed their demand for easy jobs, adequately paid work and respectful treatment by employers and adults as well as timefor learning and recreation.
Current figures from the International Labour Organization (ILO) show that the number of working children and adolescents continues to be high: 152 million girls and boys work worldwide. 73 million children and adolescents evenwork in dangerous places and under hazardous conditions 10 Million children are kept as slaves. “Children’s participation and association enhances children’s protection. Opportunities to speak up about harmful and unfair conditions enable children to negotiate and secure improved conditions. In fact it is high time to talk for the children and time to listen for decision makers within families in schools, workplaces and on national and international level.” said Barbara Küppers, terre deshommes ́ child rights expert.


“It’s Time to Talk! – Children’s Views on Children’s Work “
The “Time to Talk” campaign is a joint project of children’s rights organizations Kindernothilfe and the International Federation of Terre des Hommes, with the participation of the “Die Sternsinger”. The project was cofounded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. In cooperation with more than 55 international civil society partners, 1.822 working children between 5 and 18 years in 36 countries since March 2016, participated in a comprehensive participatory process on this project and expressed their opinion on the subject of child labour. The children are engaged in a diverse range of paid and unpaid work in urban and rural settings, including household and agricultural work; small-scale vending; work in gold and stone mines; construction work; waste collection; work in the weaving and textile industry; hotel and rest aurant work; cutting hair and styling; cleaning buses/cars; begging and sex work. 76 percent of the children are studying, 22percent are out of school. The results of this consultation process will be presented to the International Labour Organization Argentine Government and further government delegations attending the IV Global Conference on the Sustainable Eradication of Child Labour in Buenos Aires inNovember 2017.


Barbara Küppers, Terre des Hommes/Germany,b.kueppers@tdh.de
Anne Jacob, Kindernothilfe/Germany,anne.jacob@knh.de
Angelika Böhling, Kindernothilfe/Germany,angelika.boehling@knh.de
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