Every year, child rights week has been celebrated in Ghoraghat with children’s participation in a lot of child-focused and community sensitization events. This time they integrate some new activities that can contribute to reducing child labor. In Ghoragaht, many children engaged in child labor carrying out varied tasks to make life comfortable for families. Pandemic also forced children into child labor because their school was closed for a long time. Though schools are open now, it is difficult to make child laborers back to the school without effective steps. So, ActionAid has taken a plan to conduct advocacy and sensitizing discussions with the persons who are creating scope for children to be engaged in child labor in Ghoraghat. In these advocacy meetings, employers from transportation sectors, hotel, mechanic workshops, small garments participated. They were being sensitized on the issue that child labor can make children vulnerable and create high-risk situations that affect their dignity, integrity, and development. Child labor employers have committed that they will not allow children to work in their business and will determine age limits while recruiting.
Moreover, a debate competition was organized on 5th October with 10 children's participation using an online platform where the topic of debate was ‘Government can stop child marriage by law enforcement. Two teams were based on Ghoraghat and Katabari union of Ghoraghat. The online platform is a new concept for them, but children need to be familiar with this kind of platform because they experienced communication has changed a lot during pandemic where they had to participate in online classes.
Sopna (16) get the best speech prize said, “I participated in this kind of online debate competition for the first time. At first, there was a lot of fear in my mind that I will not be able to talk on the online platform. But finally, I have been able to present all the arguments without any hesitation. Thanks to everyone's for their efforts that our team has won. This award will be memorable for me.”
Along with debate and advocacy meetings, different kinds of competitions like quizzes, essays, writing, drawing, handicraft making were held from 23rd September to 4th October 2021 where a total of 690 children participated.
Barsha (15), who participated in essay competition said, “I have won the first prize. This is the first time I win this essay competition though I have many prizes in the drawing competition. However, winning is not a fact, we all can celebrate child rights week, and know about our rights is an important matter of this program. Thanks to ActionAid for this initiative.”
Marzina (14) participated in the drawing competition said, “Many children in our area have been involved in child labor during the pandemic. But child labor deprives them of rights. I participated in the drawing competition and drew a photo focusing on the theme of child labor.”