Little Slaves Needed
“Little girls needed…” this is how these disturbing job announcementsbegin that appeared yesterday and today in the Swiss press, on the Internet as well as in different public areas across the country. Such job announcements do not exist, however, the situations they describe are real. On June 12th, the World Day Against Child Labour, Terre des homes (Tdh) launched its national campaign to end forced labour.
And what if it was your own child?,
168 million children work worldwide. 85 million of them are victims of exploitation and face dangerous or extremely harmful situations that jeopardize their physical, mental or moral integrity.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that 21 million people worldwide face forced labour, which is defined as “all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily”. Children represent one quarter of all victims.
"The fate of 5.5 million children victims of forced labour worldwide is unknown by the general public in Switzerland, first because this problem affects distant countries but also because these children are not in a position to testify. And what if it was my child?, is the question we hope people will ask themselves'', explained Vito Angelillo, Executive Director of Terre des hommes.
A call to Switzerland
During the International Labour Conference in Geneva, the 185 governements and employers' and workers' organizations met to supplement the Forced Labour Convention of 1930, which had become obsolete. Tdh, as defender of children's rights, aims to draw the attention of the population and the Swiss authorities to the vulnerability of children victims of moder slavery, in Switzerland and in the world.
Switzerland the place of transit or the destination of trafficking linked to forced labour, is not spared by this problem. Concrete situations involve children forced into illegality (robberies, burglaries, begging), sexual exploitation and domestic economy.
Terre des hommes urges Switzerland, with its long standing humanitarian tradition, to set an example to all countries. For this, the Foundation calls on the authorities to implement as quickly as possible the necessary measures to protect victims of forced labour, taking into account the particular situation of vulnerable children, regardless of their status, in full compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
We need your involvement !
Today, the Terre des hommes community is mobilizing itself. The exploitation of children is not inevitable. In the last 10 years, 100 million children have been saved from exploitation. There still remains 85 million, it is within our reach.
Support our message by sharing the campaign within your networks and by signing the petition to encourage Switzerland to set the example to all the states in regards to prevention, protection and reparation for children who are victims of forced labour.
Find out more about the campaign on: www.tdh.ch/12june