Thursday, December 27, 2012

The child slaves of India...

A slave at five years old

Jamie Choi - <>


Dear friends,

India is stalling the toughest child labour law in its history... because politicians say it’s not a ‘priority’! But the majority of MPs support it and all they need is a massive public push to bring it to a vote. Let´s raise our voices for India´s children. Sign now:

Sign the petition

The Indian Parliament is closing without passing the toughest child labour law in its history. Worse, the bill is supported by the majority of MPs, but it was ignored for weeks, because they felt it was not a ‘priority’!

India is the world’s child labour capital -- kids as young as five are sold to traffickers and forced to work as modern-day slaves, abused and beaten. The historic new bill would ban outright any child labour under 14 and provide stipends for poor families to keep their children in school. But MPs have let it fall off their agenda, and Indian child rights groups say they badly need our help, now, to ramp up the public pressure.

If the Avaaz community comes together, we can create a wave of attention to the bill, and push MPs to vote. Sign this urgent petition and forward it widely -- when we reach 1 million we’ll deliver our message to the Parliament with former child workers:

A staggering 215 million children work in mines, quarries, and factories around the world. All nations have signed an agreement to put the eradication of child labour at the heart of their national education plans. But, India is home to the largest child labour force in the world. If the new law passes, it would ban all child labour for under 14-year-olds and all harmful work for under 18s. The law even has provisions to ensure it doesn’t hurt the poorest families -- enshrining the right to free education and proposing stipends to compensate any losses.

Critics say the real problem isn’t the law, it’s bad enforcement. And it’s true that in the last three years in India less than 10% of the 450,000 reports of child labour were prosecuted under the existing, weak, law. But the new law packs some serious punch. The police will no longer have to wait for a court order to act. All forms of commercial child labour under 14 will be criminalised, and instead of meaningless fines or short prison sentences, the criminals will face tough penalties.

While the majority of MPs say they'll support the bill, there's no political urgency to bring it to a vote. But each day they delay, more children are forced into a life of sweatshop misery. It’s up to us to push them over the edge. Sign the petition to India's MPs now, and share widely:

The Avaaz community has campaigned to protect the children and the most vulnerable, time and time again. Just weeks ago, 1.2 million of us got together to help pass the most comprehensive education plan in Pakistan. How we treat our children is a reflection on our moral compass -- and it´s time to take firm steps against their abuse. Let’s join together to speak out for the future of India’s suffering children.

With hope and determination,

Jamie, Alice, Alex, Alaphia, Lisa, Jeremy, Ricken, Dalia, Rewan, Michelle and the whole Avaaz team


India proposes ban on child labor (Washington Post)

Getting ready for the new law against child labour (The Hindu)

Over 60 million child laborers in India (India Tribune)

35 child workers rescued from Delhi factories (Business Line)

End Child Labour and Educational Disadvantage - report and film

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Help Chief Theresa Spence - help her end her hunger strike...

Community (TV series)
Community (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Idle No More, Vancouver
Idle No More, Vancouver (Photo credit: tamara herman)
The world's largest and most effective online campaigning community for change

Chief Theresa Spence - help end her Hunger Strike

This petition is awaiting approval by the Avaaz Community
Chief Theresa Spence - help end her Hunger Strike
5,555 signers. Let's reach 7,500

Why this is important

Open Letter To Prime Minister Stephen Harper,
Re: the great Chief Theresa Spence's Hunger Strike less than a ten minute walk from the Canadian Parliamentary Buildings in Ottawa, Canada. 

Dear Prime Minister Stephen Harper, 
As you by now know, Chief Theresa Spence is on Victoria Island, less than a ten minute walk from your offices in Ottawa, on a Hunger Strike, waiting for a meeting with you since December 11th, 2012. The situation is dire and is one that does, threatens death; a commitment that Chief Spence has made on behalf of her Peoples. The great pain and inaction that has perpetuated this desperate action is only growing nation wide, and it would behoove us all to have you meet with her and to formulate a plan of action together. A plan towards a brighter future for everyone. 
We, as Canadian Citizens, as First Peoples Citizens and as World Citizens care very deeply for the life of this great Woman, Mother and Chief, and we do not want her to die. But, only you, Prime Minister Harper, have the power to save her life. This very real and human life. Please consider that. We would like you to know that we, and many others like us both in Canada and around the World, are watching your choices here, we are, aware of you and what you do every day you refuse to meet or even acknowledge Chief Spence of your own accord. Each of us would choose to take action and save this life. If we could. But we can not. Only you can do that. Only you have that choice. And, we do, we hope you choose differently today. We hope you choose to save the life of the great Chief Theresa Spence with the power you hold in your hands. With a conversation. No miracle needed. Just a conversation. And a life, will be saved. It is, so easily within your power to affect the future in a positive way. For this great country, and this Great Nation. For our homeand NativeLand.Please, we urge you to make the right decision. Choose to hear this woman, this Mother, this great Chief's plea and meet with her now. 
For all of us. From fellow human being to fellow human being, we urge you, meet with Chief Theresa Spence to discuss her concerns and her pain. 
Signed,An Average Canadian,Jacqueline Rockmanand....10,000 other concerned Average World Citizens 
Those who have already written open letters open letters to you include, but are not limited to, the following:The David Suzuki FoundationAll Three Canadian Opposition PartiesThe Ontario Labour FederationThe Union of Canadian Postal WorkersThe National Union of Public & General Employees (Canada)The Canadian Labour CongressThe United Church of Canada Me, Jacqueline Rockman
Please hear them, hear them all, NOW
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