On 21st January 2021, Woodcraft Folk joined representatives of governments, worker and employer organisations to sign a pledge seeking the eradication of child labour by 2025. Woodcraft Folk represented the civil society sector and has joined in this campaign to:
- Support the rights of children
- Demonstrate international understanding
- Educate children and young people in the UK to lobby for social change.
The pledge was also signed by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi, and Amar Lal, a human rights lawyer and child labour survivor. The signing took place online with representatives from across the globe. The event was opened by the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, who committed to intensifying efforts towards addressing child labour in agriculture through a dedicated work programme within FAO’s Strategic Framework.
The virtual event was the launch of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour 2021 organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The event noted that there were 100 million fewer children in labour now than at the turn of the century, but that we wish all children to be free of labour and have access to education.
UNICEF’s Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, indicated child labour had been exacerbated by rising poverty, weak protection laws and cultural practices in some countries even before the COVID-19 pandemic worsened the plight of vulnerable families.
Woodcraft Folk groups will have opportunities to meet with young people with lived experience of child labour as part of a series of virtual events over the coming months.