Working children and adolescents from eight states of India came together to discuss their rights, voice their demands and flag their aspirations at a national event to commemorate 30 years of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20, 2021.
The event, ‘Children: Ambassadors of Change’ had representatives of unions and organisations of working children and adolescents from New Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka. They spoke about their present situation, especially in the context of COVID – 19 and beyond. They were emphatic that issues of working children and adolescents have never received the attention they urgently deserve. Making matters worse, COVID – 19 has further aggravated many of the long-standing systemic issues, gravely affecting them and their communities.
As representatives of their unions and child-led organisations, they further discussed their issues in great detail during the previous months. Based on those, they have drawn up this petition in which they demand their rights and entitlements. They shared it, nationally, on the occasion of ‘Child Labour Day, April 30, 2021. Their petition was addressed to the Indian Government, as the primary duty bearer responsible for the realisation of their rights.