"Fighting for the social recognition of children"
the Latin American and Caribbean Movement of Working Children and Adolescents, are gathered in Cachipay, Colombia, for our 7th meeting of MOLACNATS to share our experience and reflect on our living conditions. In this meeting, delegates of Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guatemala and Bolivia have participated together with affiliated organizations, such as ItaliaNATs from Italy and ProNATs from Germany. The meeting, which is proof of the effective establishment of the Latin American and Caribbean Movement of Working Children and Adolescents, is the fruit of processes in over 30 years of NATs organization, which started in Lima, Peru. This process continues, thanks to numerous meetings and actions of which the last one was in Asuncion, Paraguay in 2001.
This path was developed by us, the working children and adolescents, with the help of different allies, such as Save the Children Sweden or Terre des Hommes Germany, among others.
During the meeting, we decided to include another working children’s movement, MONATsGUA (The Movement of Working Children and Adolescents in Guatemala) in the Commission of the Latin American Movement, which will take actions and will represent us. More over we elected, among the delegates of each country, two worldwide delegates for Latin America, which will be promoters of the Worldwide Movement of Working Children and Adolescents. In the same way, we created an editorial committee, which will reformulate some points of ours basic principles and also reform our statute.
In the same way, we developed a three-year Plan of Action from our Sustainability Plan, to better put our political and social ideals into practice. It embodies the combined opinions of working children and adult collaborators in a critical appraisal of children’s work.. The plan will be a means to spread information about us to other working children, moreover to help us to get more social recognition.
MOLACNATs is a means for us to be more supportive, stronger, and better connected. Moreover it is a means to express our self everywhere with one voice. We have taken an engagement to promote ours rights, and develop action aiming at reducing poverty and obtaining better working conditions; fighting against social exclusion and child trafficking, as well as every form of child abuse and violence against children, especially for those who are working. We reclaim and defend the dignified work for children and also their active participation everywhere. We are the most important actors in the improvement of our living conditions, for this reason we promote alternative forms of dignified work and better training possibilities in order to exert active participation for all working children and youths.
In this meeting, we decided to celebrate activities together with other Movements of Working Children and Adolescents in Latin America to obtain social recognition of all children. In our movement, we have achieved a lot, especially for children who are working. Nevertheless, during this occasion we developed the follows aims:
- We demand more consideration and respect of ours rights by national governments and their people. Referring to the situation in Peru, Colombia, Paraguay and other MOLACNATs groups, we demand as part of this society, the termination of persecution and detention of working children. We suggest to develop in joint effort and dialog with us, actions and alternative solutions in compliance with the Child Rights Convention.
- We demand to be listened to as Working Children and Youth, to be involved in the participation process, to influence decisions concerning our life. This could be possible by implementing actions and demonstrations as Bolivia and Venezuela did. In this case national Working Children’s Movements participated actively in the reforms of child law, by adding an article promoting better working and living conditions for children and youth.
- We would like to implement and to spread around the world a new childhood paradigm, which has been developed with the active participation of working children and adult collaborators during this meeting.
- We will create an internet web page, which will spread information concerning us as social actors and our organized movements.
- We hope to obtain better living conditions for us, by proposing alternative forms of work, developed and put into practice on our own initiative.
- We suggest the creation of a Latin American Network of Adult Collaborators, which stand aside and trust in us and agree with common issues of working children and adolescents, as for example, the critical valorisation of work.
Let us move together for the respect of the rights and the voice of working children.
We ourselves know what to say. We are not the problem but part of the solution.
Long live decent work for working children and adolescents!