Child labour, trafficking, forced labour and violence are problems that affect thousands of children and adolescents in Peru. This is just a part of a bigger global crisis, in which over 150 million children are in work, 264 million children are out of school, and many millions more are subjected to violence.

To tackle the issue of child labour at local and national level, 100 Million Peru hosted a major launch event in Lima on 11 November, bringing together representatives of the government, civil society, and the private sector to join in the protection of the rights of children and adolescents.

100 Million Peru welcomed Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate, and initiator of the 100 Million campaign, to the International Meeting for a Free, Safe and Educated Childhood. The campaign in Peru is also being supported by TV presenter Karen Schwarz Espinoza, comedian Fernando Armas, and actor Nikko Ponce, with the band Los Truchas performing at the launch itself.

Currently, the government of Peru has a cross-sectoral strategy to deal with child labour: the National Strategy for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labour. However, this strategy has no budget, so it cannot be implemented. By 2018, the campaign in Peru – powered by volunteers – aims to informs and sensitise Peruvian citizens about the importance of this issue, and will specifically work to ensure that the national strategy has a budget for implementation.

The launch has secured some critical achievements for the campaign already, including being given a space at the next session of the CPETI (National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labour), with an invitation to participate in the committee going forward. In addition, the International Labour Organization, the Ministerio de Trabajo y Promoción del Empleo del Perú, civil society and business and worker guilds, have already recognised the unique value of 100 Million Peru as a youth-led social change movement.

Some revealing data for Peru:

  • Only 45% of adolescents in rural areas successfully complete secondary education, while in urban areas 74% do so.
  • 1,619,000 children and adolescents are in a situation of child labour (INEI 2015).
  • The majority reside in rural areas and are between 5 and 13 years old.

To connect with 100 Million Peru, like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and check the hashtags #100Millones #YoMeSumo