[Cevleis-L] Hundreds of Children Rally to Demand Education

To: "cevleis-l@xxxxxxxxxx" <cevleis-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Cevleis-L] Hundreds of Children Rally to Demand Education
From: "Global March Against Child Labour" <yatra@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 05:57:33 +0550
Monterrey, México, 20 March 2002 -- It was a riot of colors when 
hundreds of children released thousands of balloons into the 
Mexican sky. These balloons carried the slogan, "Let us dream, 
education for all" and "From exploitation to education". The 
children held a rally at Hundido Park, Macro Plaza in downtown 
Monterrey, the showcase city of Mexico where more than fifty 
Heads of State and Finance Ministers from all over the world 
are attending the UN Conference on Financing for Development. 
The event was organized by the Global March Against Child Labour 
together with the Global Campaign for Education, International 
Center on Child Labor and Education, and several local NGOs and 
schools to highlight the importance of increased development 
spending for eliminating child labor and providing children with 
free quality education. 
The Mexican children expressed their solidarity with their 250 
million brothers and sisters who are trapped in various forms 
of labor as well as with those 125 million who have had no opportunity 
to access schooling. Releasing balloons and articulating their 
aspiration in paintings, they sent a clear message to the world 
leaders that the future of humanity lies in the dreams of children.
Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson of the Global March Against Child 
Labour, led the event saying, "The poverty of global political 
will is again demonstrated in Monterrey as the world community 
has once again failed to commit sufficient resources to realize 
the Millennium Development Goals. Children will suffer the most 
from the lack of political will of the world's leaders. If the 
industrialized world is not prepared to invest a pittance of 
its income in the interest of underprivileged children, poverty 
can never be alleviated, nor the scourge of global terrorism 
and insurgency be tackled."
The Global March Against Child Labour, a movement of over 2000 
international and national organizations in 140 countries has 
been demanding that 0.1% of the GNP of wealthy countries be dedicated 
to save the childhood of this planet.
Mr. Satyarthi further elaborated that, "Only an additional sum 
of USD 9 billion is required for basic education, 2 billion for 
universal vaccination and 3-4 billion dollars to protect the 
lives of children from armed conflict. If wealthy countries are 
prepared to spend just 0.1% of their GDP on development aid for 
children, an additional sum of 25 to 30 billion could be generated 
each year. This is more than enough to meet the basic needs of 
all the children who have been left behind."
Caroline Wildeman, a representative of Oxfam International in 
the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) demanded that world leaders 
honor the commitments they made during Jomtien in 1990, during 
the World Social Summit 1995, and in Dakar in 2000, to enhance 
their spending on education. Ironically, despite their big promises, 
industrialized countries spend less than 2 cents on education 
for every aid dollar they give. The Global Campaign for Education 
calls for national governments to invest at least 6% of their 
GNP on education and immediately end all user fees in schools, 
including tuition fees as well as all other expenditures on books 
and stationery, etc. The campaign further calls on the international 
community to form the Global Initiative promised in Dakar to 
fill the financing and policy gaps preventing quality education 
for all.
Speaking on the occasion, Gene Sperling, Former National Economic 
Adviser to the US President Bill Clinton said that the investment 
in education is the prerequisite for any human development. He 
also said that the world leaders can not be complacent as two 
years have already passed since Dakar.
Jorge Valencia from COMEXANI, the Mexican National Coordinator 
for the Global March Against Child Labour, and Virginia Murillo 
from DNI-Costa Rica, the Central American Regional Coordinator, 
stressed the need for urgent action on basic education. Also 
participating on the occasion were several delegates from the 
Netherlands, UK and Spain. 
For more information, please contact:
Global March Against Child Labour 
International Secretariat
L-6, Kalkaji, New Delhi-19
Tel: (91 11) 622-4899, (91 11) 647-5481
Fax: (91 11) 623-6818
Email: yatra@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, childhood@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Website: www.globalmarch.org
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