Global March Against Child Labour

June 3, 1998

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Global March Against Child Labour
dated June 3, 1998

Global March Against Child Labour
The Days of Action, which began in December of 1995 in London, Ontario, have made a difference. Since then not only have over a half a million workers and community members protested against the Mike Harris government, they have marched through the streets of eleven Ontario cities. The protests shut down the city of Hamilton, jammed traffic and brought business to a stand still in core of Toronto. From North Bay, Harris's hometown, to Windsor, to Kingston, the Days of Action campaign have united people in their opposition to the Harris agenda.

Bob White
C.L.C. President
"I'm here to say to you, that by educating Canadians about the global march against child labour we are all doing our part to stop child labour. It may be hard to consider that we are really doing all that much by an event like this in Canada - but we are. By taking part in this march, we are fighting and joining in the worldwide fight against the tyranny, exploitation, oppression and abuse of innocent children. "

While the young people are leading the way, there are many national and international organizations supporting their efforts. CAW Communication Director Jane Armstrong praised the young people's efforts She also condemned the diamond industry for moving the bulk of their gem cutting and polishing operations to India where 25 per cent of the work is now done by child labour.

Jane Armstrong CAW
Director Of Communications
"It's about time we broke the tradition because it is about exploitation. And it is time that we, as consumers, take on the challenge of putting pressure on those who profit from cheap labour. "

Consumer action can make a difference. Armstrong pointed to the rug industry in India which has agreed to inspections in order to get the "child labour free " label.

Linda Torney
Pres. Metro Toronto Labour Council

"We've got to educate ourselves, our families, our neighbours, our fellow students our fellow workers, and yes if you're in a union , your employer. We have to educate them that this is unacceptable, that it must stop, that it must stop now. We can purchase sensibly ourselves. We can ask a few questions about what we're buying and who produces it."

The final Global March was held June 1st in Geneva, Switzerland where members of the International Labour Organization are drafting a new international convention against the worst forms of child labour. They include; elimination of hazardous working conditions, of bonded labour and slavery, of the use of children in the sex trade, and the use of children under 12 in the work force. The next step will be to get governments around the world to recognize the convention and draft their own laws against child labour.

Jean Claude Parrot
VP Canadian Labour Congress
"We have to convince our governments. We have to convince the industries, the manufacturers and all of them, to start a code of ethics and a code of practice that they will not use child labour; whether themselves, whether through their sub contractors, whether through investment in other countries or whether any other form that takes place. We want them to be so careful about this, that child labour will not be possible anymore. "

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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