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Betreff: Child Labour News Service Special Release - 26 April 2002
Datum: 26 Apr 2002 18:20:16 -0500
Von: "Child Labour News Service" childlabournews@vsnl.net



Two years after the world promised to provide free, quality education for all, children, teachers, and activists in over 80 countries are back on the streets, in schools, and in front of government officials demanding the right to education.

Over 12 million people all over the world are showing their solidarity in a series of activities taking place from April 22-28 as part of the Global Action Week for Education organised by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE). As a worldwide coalition of developmental NGOs and teachers' unions, GCE has been playing a major role in recent years, gathering support and sustaining political will on the issue of education.

The Global Action Week (GAW) represents a high point in grassroots mobilisation to pressure the governments of developing countries to prepare the National Education Plans required under the Dakar Framework of Action.

Just shortly before the GAW, a major breakthrough was made in Washington to add to the demands for free education. Finance and development ministers meeting at the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings endorsed a new action plan for achieving universal primary education. The plan sets out a framework for rich countries to channel money to developing countries with sound education policies, enabling them to provide free basic education to all their children. It proposes fast-tracking an initial group of countries to receive immediate support.

In 2000, 155 governments committed to provide education for all no later than 2015 under the Dakar Framework for Action. Yet, the 88 poorest countries will likely to miss the 2015 deadline unless dramatic efforts are made. For more children, school fees block them from a basic education. Girls account for two thirds of 125 million children out of school. One in four adults in the developing world - almost 900 million people - cannot read or write.

Despite a number of meetings, reports and consultations in the last two years, the world still faces a gap of US$9 billion each year in financing for education, while only two cents of every aid dollar is going to education. The recent World Bank decision must not also remain an empty promise, and civil society leaders are raising their voices exactly for that, during the GAW and beyond.

In India, SACCS, Global March Against Child Labour and the teachers' unions AIACHE, AISTF and AIPTF will organise mass rallies with children in 14 cities. There will also be a children's drawings competition in 100 schools in Delhi.

The Fiji Confederation of Teachers organised on Monday 22 April a panel discussion on "Assessing Fiji's Progress Towards EFA and Identifying Problems", with the presence of the Prime Minister and Professor Konai Thaman of the University of the South.

In the U.K., television soap star Michelle Collins is just finishing a trip to Kenya with Oxfam GB where she visited education projects in Nairobi. Local NGOs told her that there is a clear link between the big increase in these costs to Kenyan parents over the last decade and the spiraling numbers of children on the streets in Nairobi. Michelle will be joining a delegation to meet the U.K. Prime Ministers on Wednesday April 24th.

In Benin, the three teachers' unions are joining hands to organise a public march where 500 children will claim their right to learn. Children's artwork will be collected in schools and from deprived communities. They will also hold a "day of reflection on the impact of AIDS on education".

Internationally, a "Children's Drawing Competition" will be organised as a joint activity with the GCE and UNESCO. Children around the world will be drawing on the theme of "What I Want to Be, When I Grow Up." Selected drawings will be presented at the UN Special Session on Children in New York during May 8-10. Report Cards will be distributed for the public to express their opinions on how their governments are performing to meet the Education for All goals.

"Only when we defend the right to free education, can we free people from the bondage of poverty, illiteracy and injustice. The real victory will come when the right to education is respected as a birthright of every human being," says Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson of the Global March Against Child Labour and a Steering Committee member of the Global Campaign for Education, stressing the importance of education as a fundamental human right.

For more Information, please contact:

Philippe Roy, International Media Coordinator
International Secretariat
Global March Against Child Labout
L-6 Kalkaji, New Delhi 110 019 India
Tel: (91 11) 622 4899/647 5481
Fax: (91 11) 623 6818
E-mail: childhood@globalmarch.org, yatra@del2.vsnl.net.in,


Emanuel Fatoma, GCE Coordinator
C/o Education International
5, Boulvard du Roi Albert II
1210 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: (32 2) 224 06 11
Fax: (32 2) 224 06 06
E-mail: global.edu.campaign@ei-ie.org

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