Kabul, Afghanistan – To mark International Day of the Girl Child on October 11, Cartoons for Change launched its global campaign on Monday with designs titled #AllGirlsHaveTheRightToEducation #ZeroChildLabor in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The initiative is developed with the participation of cartoonists and illustrators from all continents and will last for one year.
This Cartoons for Change campaign aims to defend the right to education of all girls around the world and demands that governments and businesses completely eradicate child labor.
According to Fernando Morales-de la Cruz, founder and editor of Cartoons for Change and human rights activist born in Guatemala, the total number of child laborers is close to 300 million. Most of the working children are girls and most of the children who do not study are also girls. Of course, most of the poor are also women. This must change.
Child labor is a consequence of poverty and, in many cases, caused by exploitative business and business models, but it is also the cause of “enduring” misery.
Although 2021 is designated the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor, child labor has actually increased. According to Morales-de la Cruz, this is not just a consequence of the pandemic. None of the developed countries and none of the 1000 largest companies in the world have a real plan to eliminate child labor from supply chains, even in the international year of its elimination. Child labor is seen by too many companies as a way to optimize costs and increase profits. Sadly, girls and women are also most of the victims of these cruel business models.
Seventy-two years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 32 years after the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and 6 years after the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations the reality of hundreds of million children and especially girls is inhuman. It’s fair to say that the SDGs fail the poorest and especially children and women.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban regime has banned girls from going to school beyond the fifth grade. Morales-de la Cruz says this cruel action against girls and women by the Taliban regime is not only unfair to girls, but also violates their human rights. The Taliban regime violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Afghanistan is a signatory to all of these international instruments. In fact, the Afghan government should not be accepted in the United Nations or any intergovernmental organization until there is compelling evidence that girls’ rights, women’s rights and human rights are respected in Afghanistan, said Morales-de la Cruz.
Cartoons for Change will offer the public the opportunity to participate in this campaign to defend the rights of girls with the action #WearIt. People of all ages in all countries of the world will be challenged to dress to change the world. They will be allowed to download and print their own t-shirts and sweatshirts with three different Cartoons for Change. The first of the Cartoons for Change of Dress to Change for #WearIt is Working Girls’ Dream by Maarten Wolterink in 12 languages. It will be available on social media and the Cartoons for Change website starting Tuesday, October 12.
The full campaign is initially launched with Cartoons for Change in 12 languages and will be in over 50 languages in the coming months, reaching people on all continents via traditional and social media.
To launch the Cartoons for Change campaign in Afghanistan, they are cooperating with WBRAO (Watch on Basic Rights Afghanistan Organization), an NGO in Kabul that defends girls’ education and women’s rights, peace, prevention of child abuse and justice for all.
Cartoons for Change is a global initiative that uses cartoons, animations and illustrations to advocate for children’s rights, the elimination of child labor and the effective abolition of slavery. You can follow them on @ cartoons4change on twitter and Instagram and @ cartoons4changenow on Facebook.