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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

Cartoonists protest summit of the International Labor Organization

July 13, 2020 in General

Cartoon © Steve ‘Jonesy’ Jones

The International Labor Organization (ILO) based in Geneva, Switzerland, is holding its virtual summit this week with the participation of heads of state and government, ministers, representatives of employers and workers. At CARTOONS FOR CHANGE we decided to invite cartoonists and illustrators from all continents to protest for 365 days, starting now during the virtual summit of the ILO, to demand that governments and multinationals stop child labor. It is unacceptable, cruel and illegal that 30 years after the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child there are still almost 300 million working children.
On the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labor, which was commemorated on June 12th, the CARTOONS FOR CHANGE initiative, which I lead, invited cartoonists, illustrators and creatives, from all continents, to contribute their talent and creativity, sharpen their pencils and crayons, in defense of hundreds of millions of girls and boys victims of labor exploitation. Thanks to this first open call, CARTOONS FOR CHANGE received expressions of interest from more than a hundred professional cartoonists from all continents.
Because governments, international organizations, and especially multinational companies have done little, if anything, to eradicate child labor and protect the world’s poorest children, we in CARTOONS FOR CHANGE call cartoonists, illustrators, and others graphic artists to carry out a global protest that will not last just 24 hours but #365DaysAgainstChildLabor.

 

Cartoon © Gilmar

The quality of the CARTOONS FOR CHANGE we have received is exceptional, the immense enthusiasm of cartoonists to join the cause is something I did not expect. This gives us the assurance that our global campaign will have a significant impact, despite the fact that those who profit from large-scale child labor, to reduce their cost of labor, are people and companies with criminal behavior. Exploiting a minor is a crime, exploiting tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of girls and boys, like too many multinationals do, is a crime against humanity, this according to international law.

 

Cartoon © Chavo del Toro

The European Union claims to respect human rights and children’s rights, but Europe is today the largest financial beneficiary of misery and child labor in the rural communities that produce coffee, cocoa and many other agricultural products.

Switzerland claims to be an exemplary democracy, but the Swiss Confederation has more children in its coffee, tea and cocoa supply chain than children studying in all Swiss schools.

Most “development aid” programs from the United States, Canada, the European Union, Norway, Switezrland, the United Kingdom, Japan, etc. which claim to help eradicate child labor and reduce misery not only do not reduce them but also serve to hide the cruelty of neo-colonial business models that are the true cause of misery, and therefore of child labor.According to data from the International Labor Organization (ILO), more than 152 million children in child labor situations. In my opinion, ILO child labor figures underestimate the total number of exploited children. In Asia the ILO underestimates them by more than one hundred million children, in Africa more than 30 million children. This means that the total number of children working worldwide today may be very close to 300 million.
It is absolutely unacceptable, cruel and illegal that 70 years after signing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 30 years after adopting the Convention on the Rights of the Child, even the coffee, tea and chocolate they consume in the United Nations institutions has child labor. This is true in the ILO and also in UNICEF that claims to protect children around the world, and in all the centers of power and influence of the developed world, where they claim to support and promote the Sustainable Development Goals. It is urgent to stop the exploitation of hundreds of millions of girls and boys. There are too many industries, such as chocolate, coffee, mining and many others in which child labor continues to increase, because it is highly profitable for multinationals.

Cartoon © Antonio Rodríguez

According to figures from the ILO, worldwide, child labor is concentrated primarily in agriculture (71%), which also includes fishing, forestry, livestock and aquaculture, and comprises both subsistence and commercial agriculture; 17% of children in child labor situation work in the service sector; and 12% in the industrial sector, particularly mining.

Cartoon © Mangena

CARTOONS FOR CHANGE cartoons and illustrations will be published in the press and shared on the Twitter and Instagram accounts: @Cartoons4Change and Facebook: @Cartoons4ChangeNow.

If you want more information about CARTOONS FOR CHANGE, or about how you can contribute to eradicate child labor and abolish slavery, please contact us through any of the social networks.

These almost three hundred million extremely poor working girls and boys are largely innocent and helpless victims of the indifference of good people. This cannot go on like this. We have to change it!