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The strongest, most compelling actor in the fight to end child labour are child labourers, and survivors of child labour, themselves.

All children and young people have the right to a say in the decisions which will impact their lives, but child labourers and survivors of child labour face multiple forms of discrimination which often makes it difficult for their testimonies to be heard. 

The failure to hear, or listen to, the testimonies and demands of survivor-advocates not only reinforces their exclusion but the absence of their lived-experience expertise results in weaker interventions and policy aimed at ending their exploitation. 

Ahead of the 2022 5th Global Conference for the Elimination of Child Labour in South Africa, youth activists and survivor-advocate networks across Africa filmed the testimony and demands of child labourers and survivor-advocates in their country.


With the number of children engaged in child labour rising for the first time in two decades, Africa home to more child labourers than the rest of the world combined, and 1 year left till the 2025 deadline to eliminate child labour, the 'Durban Call to Action' agreed by stakeholders at the conference is a timely and critical rallying cry. But, without mass public awareness and political pressure, the commitments made in South Africa risk being yet another empty promise. Help demonstrate the urgency and importance of action by amplifying the testimonies of those most impacted by this injustice across social media, targeting key decision-makers to act using our social media toolkit below.


Happiness, 13 years old, is a former child domestic worker in Mwanza, Tanzania. In her own words, Happiness describes how due to familial poverty, she was forced to drop out out of school and into domestic child labour where she faced violence from her employer.


Happiness urges the Government of Tanzania to take action that supports children to stay in education and protect them from working as domestic workers.


Happiness's testimony was captured by Tanzania Coalition Against Child Labour and WoteSawa Domestic Workers Organization, Nyamagana District, Mwanza Region in North-Western Tanzania in April 2022.


Mubarak's dream to be in school and not in child labour is his human right that has still not been delivered.


Forced to choose between survival and school, he is working to survive. Mubarak strongly believes that children are the leaders of tomorrow and calls upon the Government of Nigeria to act now and look into the plight of vulnerable children and their communities, especially in conflict-affected areas where he lives.


Mubarak's testimony was captured near Jos Plateau, Nigeria by the youth-led organisation Prime Goals Initiative in April 2022. 


Anyakot was just eight years old when she first became a child labourer in the Tiira gold mines in Uganda. She was exposed to extreme injustice including sexual harassment, teenage pregnancies and rape.


Through SOMERO Uganda’s advocacy projects ‘Girls Advocacy Alliance and ‘Joining Forces for all Children’, child labourer survivors and advocates have been empowered to go back to school and are given an opportunity to speak about issues that directly affect them and how they can join the efforts towards the elimination of child labour.


Anyako's testimony was captured by SOMERO Uganda in Busia District, Eastern Uganda in May 2022.


Omar is a 16 year old child labourer in Nairobi Kenya, who is forced to do dangerous work to survive. Brewing illicit alcohol is extremely physically harmful and illegal, yet he feels he has no other choice.


Omar is calling upon the Government of Kenya to prioritize the needs of the vulnerable children and their communities so no one has to endure what he has.


Omar's testimony was captured by Justice for Every Child, Kenya in April 2022. 


Janet was 7 years old when she first became a child labourer in Liberia, forced to hawk on the streets of Monrovia to support her families survival.


The rates of child labour for children aged 5-11 years old are rising at unprecedented rates and Janet calls on the Government of Liberia to end child labour and deliver the right of education for all.


Janet's testimony was captured by the youth-led campaign group 100 Million Liberia in May 2022.


Francis was twelve years old when he first became a child labourer. Losing his parents at a young age, he went to live with his old grandmother who could not provide his basic needs.


Working on the sugar plantations as a cutter where he faced challenges including lack of sleep and exploitation from his supervisors. Francis calls on the Government of Malawi to end child labour and ensure every child has access to education.

Francis's testimony was captured the Youth Coalition for the Consolidation of Democracy - YCD in Malawi in May 2022.


Wani was just seven years old when his village was attacked by local militia and he was abducted by the armed group and forced to work for them. Wani carried their weapons, food and water through the bush for days at a time, witnessing the horrors of war and girls as young as twelve forced into marrying soldiers.


Wani's experiences prompted him to found Street Beats Foundation in South Sudan, which uses music to amplify the important message of child rights as critical to peace, unity, freedom and education.


Wani's testimony was recorded by himself in April 2022.


Ciza was just eight years old when he became a child labourer where he faced violent mistreatment by his employer and dismissal at night which pushed him to seek refuge in drugs.


Due to the advocacy projects of Burundi National Students Union in their program "BIRACASHOBOKA", in partnership with ABMP which helps children suffering addiction, Ciza, now 15 years old, benefited from their detoxification program.


Ciza's testimony was captured by the Burundi National Students Union in May 2022.

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