Fifty Eight partnering on ambitious four-year programme towards eradicating child slavery in East Africa
The UK aid backed programme is set to help change the lives of over 12,000 children in Ethiopia, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The programme is funded by a substantial new UK aid package from the Department for International Development (DFID) and headed by international aid agency World Vision UK.
Fifty Eight and UN Global Compact UK are focusing on research and engagement with business at a local and global level to address the worst forms of child labour in supply chains.
The project will leverage cross-sector partnerships including NGOs, law enforcement and global corporations, while helping children advocate for their own rights.
There are more than 40 million victims of modern slavery worldwide, a quarter of whom are children. This is nothing short of a global tragedy. Partnering with World Vision and War Child, the UK is prioritising the protection of children from the worst forms of child labour and trafficking.
Tim Pilkington, CEO of World Vision UK, said: “Forced labour robs millions of children of their childhoods all over the world. Children as young as five are coerced into working long hours on back-breaking tasks. They are forcibly recruited into armed conflict, used in prostitution or pornography, trafficked or engaged in dangerous manual work like mining. Many children are also physically and sexually abused.
“This programme will have global impact, giving countless numbers of physically, emotionally and psychologically-shattered children the hope of a real childhood again. We must amplify their voices and allow them to demand the changes they need.”
World Vision UK will lead a consortium of organisations, including War Child UK, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Fifty Eight, Columbia University and UN Global Compact UK.
The programme will begin in the summer of 2019 and include:
Rob Williams, CEO of War Child UK, said: “It’s not acceptable that children all over the world are having their childhoods taken from them. What they experience now will stay with them for life so it’s vital that we provide the support they need. Working together with World Vision and the other organisations will allow us to change even more lives.
“Alongside this work we also have a responsibility as organisations and people, with the support of the UK government to create opportunities for the voices of children to be heard. No one knows better about what affects them most than they do. After this our job most important job is to listen, only then can we deliver the change that is required.”
Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said: “The Thomson Reuters Foundation is proud to contribute our expertise to this project. We will shed light on the issue of child labour through our dedicated team of journalists, we will spread journalism excellence through our training programmes, and we will enable access to justice through TrustLaw, our pro bono legal network. 25 per cent of the 40.3 million slaves in the world are children and we all have the responsibility to fight this crime, the worst of all human crimes.”