#Children's Rights
Education For All

Tell Government Leaders To Keep Their Promises To The World’s Children

“Keep Your Promises” is a campaign to remind the governments on the promises and commitments they have made specifically to the children of their countries and the world at large – the commitments to protect children in hazardous child labour, out-of-school children, universalisation of education and gender parity, all within the larger framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The year 2007 (07.07.07) is the mid-term of the commitments that governments made for the MDGs to be achieved by 2015. It is extremely significant for us to bring the focus back on the children, especially those who are being denied their rights to freedom, childhood and education. The world has already missed the goal of gender parity by 2005. It is time we take stock of the situation and work in a concerted manner to keep the promises made.


* One in seven children is a child labourer: that's nearly 14 per cent of the children in the age group 5-14 years.

* One in five children do not go to school – this is nearly 18 per cent of the children in the age group (primary school).

* Most of them (57 percent) were girls! Huge numbers of them work as child labourers.

* There are over 238 million young people living on less than one dollar a day.

Child labour can be eliminated and replaced by universal education within 20 years at an estimated cost of US$760 billion. The benefits of eliminating child labour within the next two decades will amount to an estimated US$ 5.1 trillion for both developing and transitional economies, where most child labourers are found.

Subject: "Keep Your Promises" to the world’s children
Dear [ Decision Maker ],

(Edit Letter Below)

2007 marks the midway to the international community’s commitments for creating a better world for its citizens through the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Two of the MDGs relate directly to education. MDG 2 aims to achieve universal primary education by 2015, ensuring that children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling. MDG 3 - to promote gender equality and empower women - seeks to eliminate gender disparity in education. Its first target was to get as many girls as boys into school by 2005.

However, child labour is one of the main obstacles to Education for All (EFA), as involvement in child labour is generally at a cost to children’s ability to attend and perform in school. Seventy-seven million children across the globe are not going to school, the majority of them are working children- almost one in four of the world’s children. This contradicts the goal of EFA and Universal Primary Education.

Child labour is also the primary cause of poverty, as it pushes children early to premature work thereby denying them the opportunity to acquire the education and skills they need to obtain decent work and income as adults. The elimination of child labour is an essential pre-requisite to eradication of extreme poverty and hunger.

Education is a key element in the prevention of child labour. Reduction of child labour is expected to help both the child’s educational achievements including the efficiency and capacity of the education system, and help reduce poverty.

Thus, we demand the following:
• Universal ratification and implementation of the ILO Convention 182 [worst forms of child labour] and Convention 138 [minimum age of employment]
• A commitment from the international community to financially support the efforts of national governments to set and achieve time-bound targets for the progressive elimination of child labour
• A renewed, time-bound commitment to achieving the UN target of allocating 0.7% of the GNP of developed countries as official development aid to promote sustainable social and economic development and ensure universal human rights
• A pledge that, at the very least, 0.1% of the GNP of developed countries be dedicated to official development aid exclusively for meeting the basic needs of children in the developing world
• A commitment by governments to allocate at least 6% of GNP for education, with two thirds earmarked for primary education
• A reaffirmation of the promise that no country serious about achieving complete elimination of child labour and education for all will fail for lack of resources

There is still time to reverse this situation, but only if there is urgent and concerted action by governments and civil society. We believe that in adopting and implementing the above recommendations, the world community can make an enormous difference for the children of today and tomorrow. Sustainable development depends on educated, healthy and empowered children. They are our only hope for the future.

Please do not forget the commitments you made in 2000. Now more than ever we are demanding that you deliver on them. It is time to make sure that the promises you made equal the actions you take.

[Your name]
[Your address]

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The "Keep Your Promises" to the world's children petition to Education For All was written by Global March and is in the category Children's Rights at GoPetition.