Morgan Keyt, US 100 Million campaign National Coordinator, writes about their recent postcard action targeting the US Secretary of Labour Marty Walsh ahead of the 5th Global Conference for the Elimination of Child Labour.
The campaign called on Walsh and the US Government to support the full funding of social protection programs and policies that prevent extreme child poverty.
"Taking part in the postcard campaign was a way for 100 Million to engage with individuals within and outside of our social networks on the topic of child labor and the need for social protection,” said Nohely Diaz, a member of the US National Campaign Group. “What made this experience special was that it served more than one purpose. Aside from being a course of action that was more readily available, it was also an educational opportunity for those who aren't familiar with what social protection entails.”
Having social protection is like standing under an umbrella in the rain or heat: an umbrella offers shelter against the worst effects of the weather, and social protection shelters you from the worst of circumstances. To learn more about social protection, click here!
The US National Campaign Group (NCG) collected signatures in person and online and were able to educate young people and the public about the importance of social protection programs while campaigning and getting their cards signed. They gave out red friendship bracelets with “160” on them to signators both as an indication of the step they took to stand up for the 160 Million children who are still at work instead of in school, and a reminder to think about those children every day. We still wear those bracelets as a visible reminder of the millions of children who are all too often treated as if they are invisible.
US NCG members printed the online signatures, combined them with the physical ones, and individually mailed all of the postcards in brightly colored envelopes to Secretary Walsh’s office.
On the final day of the Fifth Global conference, 100 Million US released this video in which two of the National Campaign Group members read the postcard, once again calling on Secretary Walsh to respond.
At 100 Million US, we focus on how different industries and issues intersect with and contribute to the exploitation of children around the world. Every month, the US National Campaign Group chooses a different issue to focus on related to children’s rights.
It is immensely important that we do not treat these issues as if they are standalone, but rather acknowledge and explore their relationship with one another. For example, we cannot end human trafficking without also ending child labor. We can’t end extreme poverty if there are still millions of children who are not in school.
The goal of 100 Million US is to create a community of support for young activists who are working towards every child being free, safe, and educated. Our National Campaign Group serves as our board of directors and is made up of passionate young people around the United States.
The NCG is working in coalition with the US Campaign Coordinator and a dedicated team of volunteers to develop collaborative online spaces, in person events and nationwide actions like the postcard campaign to bring together youth focused on a wide range of issues. Our goal is to give activists in our network the tools and support they need to thrive.
Are you a young person in the United States looking to get involved with 100 Million? Come join us! We just launched our Ambassador program! 100 Million US Ambassadors are youth activists across the United States who support our call to action. If you sign on to be a 100 Million Ambassador, you receive support from 100 Million US and access to our network. Also, you have the opportunity to take part in actions 100 Million puts forward and are invited to exclusive 100 Million US events, trainings, and meetings. Our goal is to have one ambassador from each state! Interested? Click here! You can also click here to join our email list or follow us on Twitter @100millionUS or Instagram @100millionusa. You are the changemakers. You are #1in100mill.