The first of the Cartoons for Change of Dress to Change for #WearIt is Maarten Wolterink’s Working Girls’ Dream. Picture: Supplied
The first of the Cartoons for Change of Dress to Change for #WearIt is Maarten Wolterink’s Working Girls’ Dream. Picture: Supplied

Cartoonists defend defend girls’ right to education and demand an end to child labour

By Supplied Time of article published Oct 11, 2021

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Kabul, Afghanistan - To mark International Day of the Girl on October 11, Cartoons for Change launched its global campaign with cartoons titled #AllGirlsHaveTheRightToEducation #ZeroChildLabor in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday.

The initiative is being developed with the participation of cartoonists and illustrators from all continents and will last one year.

This Cartoons for Change campaign aims to defend the right to education of all girls across the world and demands governments and corporations completely eradicate child labour.

According to Fernando Morales-de la Cruz, Founder and Editor in Chief of Cartoons for Change and a human rights activist born in Guatemala, the total number of children that work is close to 300 million. Most of the children that work are girls and most of the children that do not study are also girls. Of course, most of the poor are also women. This has to change.

Child labour is a consequence of poverty and in many cases caused by exploitative business and trade models, but it is also the cause of “sustainable” misery.

Despite 2021 being designated the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, child labour has actually increased. According to Morales-de la Cruz, this is not only a consequence of the pandemic. None of the developed nations and none of the top 1000 corporations in the world have a real plan to eliminate child labour in the supply chains, even in the international year for its elimination. Child labour is seen by too many corporations 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 United Nations launched the Sustainable Development Goals the reality of hundreds of millions of children and specially of girls is inhumane. It is fair to say that the SDGs are failing the poorest and especially children and women.

In Afghanistan the Taliban regime has forbidden girls from attending schools 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 is violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on Rights of the Child and also the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Afghanistan is a signatory of all these international instruments. In fact, the government of Afghanistan should not be accepted in the United Nations or in any intergovernamental organization until there is irrefutable evidence that girls´ rights, women rights and human rights are being respected in Afghanistan, says Morales-de la Cruz.

Cartoons for Change will offer the public the possibility to participate in this campaign to defend girls’ rights 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 Maarten Wolterink’s Working Girls’ Dream in 12 languages. It will be available on Cartoons for Change’s social media and website from Tuesday October 12th.

The complete campaign is being launched initially with Cartoons for Change in 12 languages and will be in more than 50 languages in the coming months, to reach 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 advocating for Girls’ Education and Women Rights, Peace, Child Abuse Prevention, 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 labour and the real abolition of slavery. You can follow them on @cartoons4change on twitter and Instagram and @cartoons4changenow on Facebook.

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