Because of the war, I left my home in Douma and I now work in Damascus cleaning a shop. I would like to go back home and live in peace. I miss my school. I have been away from home for five years now, and I want to go home and back to school and back to play.”Huda, 11 years old, Syria
After the landslide, my mother’s friend took me to Busia and I was promised a good life, but I ended up working as a goods smuggler at the border. I work day and night for food and survival. Sleep, education and play are not part of my journey as a child. This is my message to you on World Day Against Child Labour: I am a child like all the rest in the world and I deserve to go to school for a better future. Child labour for child survival should not be an option.”Wandera, 14 years old, Uganda
When the Nargis Cyclone happened, I was 5 and we all suffered a lot. Our house was destroyed and we had no money to survive. So I dropped out of school and started helping my parents. In our village, there are a lot of children who cannot go to school and many drop out... parents need jobs and children need to go to school..”Ma, 14 years old, Myanmar.
When I was six, my uncle took me to a military camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo and I never returned to home. Within the armed group, I carried heavy loads and prepared food. When there were checks for child soldiers in the group, the commander hid us so that we wouldn’t be found. I was shot during clashes and it was then that I managed to leave. Many children are still being held prisoner by the rebel chiefs. Please do everything you can to free us. I am happy to be here in the transitional centre as I’m getting my life back.”Oswald, 11 years old, Uganda
We, students of Geneva, are honoured to be included in this important event. We are taught at a young age that we are all equal and all have the right to live in peace and with mutual respect. We are very privileged to benefit from a great education and many opportunities and we are aware that many children in the world don’t share these privileges. For this reason we must use our voices and do everything in our power to raise awareness on child labour. We are here together today to support the World Day Against Child Labour and to give voice to children whose voices are not heard.”Students of Geneva