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Cartoons For Change child labour initiative

December 10, 2020 in Comment, General

Fernando Morales-de la Cruz of Cartoons For Change writes:

On the 72nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Cartoons for Change denounces violation of the human rights of 300 million child workers

The Cartoons for Change initiative brings together hundreds of cartoonists, illustrators and artists from all continents committed to the eradication of child labor and the strictest respect of human rights. 2021 is the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor.

The truth about Fairtrade & Ben and Jerry´s by Chavo del Toro from Mexico

Berlin, Germany – December 10, 2020. On the seventy-second anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Guatemalan journalist and activist, Fernando Morales-de la Cruz, founder and editor-in-chief of Cartoons for Change, denounces the continuing violation of the human rights of almost 300 million children. That is the number of boys and girls around the world who still today have to work in order to survive, deprived of the basic rights and freedoms supposedly guaranteed by the Declaration and numerous laws and treaties that followed it.

Although developed nations are bound by international and national laws to respect human rights and the rights of children, the European Union is today the largest financial beneficiary of child labor and misery in the rural communities that produce coffee, cocoa and many other agricultural products.

Fernando Morales-de la Cruz in front of the Euro sign in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo by Ferhat Bouda/AgenceVU

Switzerland claims to be an exemplary democracy, but Swiss-registered companies have more children in their supply chain of coffee, tea and cocoa than there are boys and girls studying in Swiss schools. Around the world, there are more than four million children working in the Swiss supply chain. This belies the assurances from Professor Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum and main promoter of the Swiss business model, that his organization, the most powerful business lobby in the world, is “Committed to Improving the State of the World”.

Industrialized countries such as the United States, Canada, Japan and South Korea also profit by acquiring products and raw materials that exploit tens of millions of poor children. All of this happens despite the fact that all States have officially committed to respecting human rights and supporting Sustainable Development Goals. Even Norway, which claims to respect the human rights of all, has a huge sovereign pension fund which still invests in companies that profit from the sweat of hundreds of thousands of children.

Cartoon by © Glenn Marshall

The Republic of Germany benefits fiscally by charging very high taxes on products harvested with child labor and modern slavery. Germany collects a tax of € 2.19 for each kg of roasted coffee and € 4.79 for each kg of instant coffee. The German coffee tax is equivalent to almost 100% of what the globally-powerful German coffee industry pays to the increasingly poor coffee growers in Latin America, Africa and Asia. In 2019 the coffee industry paid up to 75% less than the inflation-adjusted price established in the 1983 International Coffee Agreement. Germany has collected more than 54,000 million euros in coffee tax since 1950, while the coffee regions that supply Germany suffer the increase of misery, hunger, malnutrition, child labor and forced migration for economic reasons. In contrast to the German coffee tax, in most of the coffee regions that supply the German coffee industry there is an almost total lack of schools, hospitals, nurseries, decent housing, living wages, pensions or social security.

“It is urgent to stop the exploitation of hundreds of millions of defenseless girls and boys. All industries, corporations and countries that profit from child labor must stop it even if it helps them generate billions of dollars yearly in additional profits and taxes. Today, December 10, 72 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 31 years after the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, there are still too many industries, such as chocolate, coffee, mining, clothing and many others in which child labor continues to increase, because it is highly profitable for multinationals and developed nations, ”says  Morales-de la Cruz, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Cartoons for Change.

To denounce this cruel reality and defend 300 million child workers, Cartoons for Change has successfully convened cartoonists, illustrators, artists, teachers and students from across the world to participate in the global protest #365DaysAgainstChildLabor and in the event #BerlinWall2021.

Concept of Cartoons for Change protest at #BerlinWall2021

“Our unique worldwide protest and exhibitions will also use the Berlin Wall, a symbol of freedom in Germany’s capital, and other walls in other continents. Our objective is to pressure governments and multinationals to take urgent and concrete actions to stop the cruel, illegal but highly lucrative business models based on child labor and slavery” says Morales-de la Cruz.

Cartoons and illustrations should be sent to the email cartoons@itima.org with the highest possible resolution for printing, as some of them will be printed to be placed on the Berlin wall in sizes up to 1.6 by 2.40 meters. The Cartoons for Change are also being published in the press and shared on the Twitter and Instagram accounts @cartoons4change and @BerlinWall2021 and via Facebook @Cartoons4ChangeNow.

Cartoon by © Steve Jones

If you want more information about Cartoons for Change or would like to know how you can contribute to eradicate child labor and abolish slavery, please contact Cartoons for Change through any of the social networks, by email at info@cartoonsforchange.org or through the page www.cartoonsforchange.org