CHILD LABOUR: Declaration by Working Children's Movement

Summary: Statement presented to the Global Child Labour Conference in the Hague, 10-11 May 2010.

Awa Niang, a member of the African Movement of working children and youth (AMWCY), was invited to speak at the conference on child labour taking place today in the Hague.

Awa explained her situation as a child worker who first started work picking sea shells for construction materials. That was before she met and became a member of the AMXCY.

She credited AMXCY with learning to read, write and speak French as well as with helping her to find lighter work for fewer hours, receive training and to earn money for herself and her family.

“We are together with ILO, governments, and other actors against the worst forms of child labour… we are also engaged against exploitation in our work. But I ask you not to confuse the worst forms of child labour with our work which can benefit us…”, said Awa.

Awa explained that children need support from adults but that adults must never decide for children.

Awa expressed regret that the organisers had not extended an invitation to other children's movements to participate in the conference.

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