“No child should work; every child must be in school”. With this slogan the municipality of Tiruppur in India, in the state of Tamil Nadu, has signed the Child Labour Free Zone Declaration.

The Declaration was signed on June 27 and celebrated with a major event, which involved many of the major political figures of the ten districts of the Tiruppur Municipal Council.

An initiative made possible thanks to the commitment of our historical partner in India, the NGO SAVE with which we promote the project “Fighting and preventing modern slavery in Tamil Nadu” and with which this year we organized a cultural exchange between Italian girls of the Liceo Cairoli in Vigevano and Indian girls on the topic of the textile supply chain. SAVE has facilitated this awareness process by a community that now condemns child labor, which cares and is concerned with ensuring that all girls and boys go to school.

India is the country with the highest number of workers under the age of 14 and the highest percentage of work in dangerous industries for adolescents aged between 15 and 17.

More generally, there are 259.6 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 in India. Of these, 10.1 million (3.9% of the total) are working, carrying out this activity both as a main occupation and as a marginal occupation. Furthermore, more than 42.7 million boys and girls in India are not attending school. The textile industry ranks second in the world for the risk of forced labor and child labor and Tamil Nadu is one of the largest yarn producers in the world with 2,297 spinning plants. (Data source: ILO).

Child labor prevents boys, girls, boys and girls from forming the skills and competences they need to grow and take advantage of those opportunities, which will enable them to have decent work as adults!

The signed Declaration therefore represents an important message, which aims to educate and involve ALL citizens: parents, political representatives, business managers, shop managers, home owners, teachers. Everyone must contribute, at different levels, to a constant commitment so that the girls and boys of Tiruppur have the opportunity to grow up without exploitation.

The points of the statement:

Our AREA is FREE from CHILD LABOUR, because:

  • In our area, girls and boys of school age go to school;
  • Our parents are more concerned with the education of their daughters and sons;
  • Our companies will NEVER hire boys and girls;
    Boys and girls are not employed in shops;
  • Our schools ensure respect for the rights of girls and boys;
  • Our teachers do not discriminate against the linguistic minorities of their pupils;
  • The representatives of the children’s parliaments ensure that all children go to school;
  • Members of the Child Rights Protection Forum monitor the educational rights of boys and girls;
  • Homeowners make sure that the boys and girls who live in their homes go to school;
  • SHAME! The family earnings that come from the work of the children are a disgrace to our families!
  • The profits brought by the tender hands of girls and boys bring shame to the whole family.
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