Youth activists on five continents have started hosting Rallies for Every Child to demand the rights to freedom, safety, and education from their local decision-makers.
October 17th each year is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and in 2019 100 Million youth activists all around the world took to the streets by holding Rallies for Every Child to ask their decision-makers "When Will Every Child Have Justice?"
This demand is in response to the slow rate of progress for the world's most marginalised children. In a world where just 26 people own as much wealth as the world's poorest 50%, it is unacceptable that there are still 258 million children out of school, 152 million children forced to work, and at least 1 billion children suffering different forms of violence - including the 33,000 girls who become child brides every single day. Following a lack of convincing commitments from governments to deliver the rights of children during this year's UN General Assembly, young people have had enough, and are demanding to see action in their communities all over the world.
Following the powerful global kick-off on October 17th, community campaign groups, led by young people, will continue to hold local Rallies for Every Child to ask 'when will every child have justice?' until 10th December - Human Rights Day. Government representatives are asked to provide answers and solutions directly to youth activists on Human Rights Day, which will give young people the opportunity to hold their decision-makers to account for delivering these basic rights.
If you would like to start a Rally for Every Child, we have created toolkits, information, and social media resources to help you. Find out more here.
In Africa, activities have already started in Chad, Liberia, and Kenya with the support of the All-Africa Students' Union. The Chadian National Students' Union held a Rally for Every Child at the Gaoui refugee site, 15 km from the capital N'Djamena, calling for an end to the marginalisation of refugee children, by providing access for every refugee child to public services and ensuring they are in school, not working. 100 Million Liberia and the Liberian National Students' Union (LINSU) are working in partnership to hold Rallies for Every Child in different parts of the country, with the first event taking place in Harbel. Young people were invited to give recitations on freedom, safety, and education for every child during the event. In Kenya, 17 October kickstarted several days of action hosted in Mathare, including a launch celebration, a festival of rights - during which advocates supported children to write their demands of their government representatives - and culminating in a march to parliament on 22 October. Further events are being held in Ghana, Burundi, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe, with more countries to confirm in the coming days.
In Asia, 100 Million India, supported nationally by the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation India and child protection movement Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), students from the University of Delhi held a Rally for Every Child in front of India Gate on 17 October.
This follows up a huge major action which took place on 11 October, when over 70,000 young people took to the streets to call for the right to education for every girl until the age of 18 in the Girls' March to School.
In Europe, the European Students' Union (ESU) and the Organising Bureau of School Student Unions (OBESSU) started their campaign by jointly hosting a Rally for Every Child in front of the European Parliament in Brussels. Both ESU and OBESSU will continue to mobilise their national members across Europe to participate in the 'When Will Every Child Have Justice?' campaign. So far, both the Danish Students' Union and Croatian Students' Unions have joined the campaign, and a major demonstration is scheduled to be held in Berlin in November.
In Latin America, 100 Million in Brazil launched its 'When Will Every Child Have Justice' campaign with a full day of action, including a screening of The Price of Free with a live Q&A with 100 Million campaign co-founder, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi.
Further major campaign actions are being planned by the national youth committees of 100 Million in Chile and Peru.
In the United States, the youth-led National Planning Group has decided to focus on ending child labour in the US tobacco industry - where at present the law allows this.
The first Rally for Every Child was held at American University in Washington DC, where youth activists were joined by the staff of the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation US.