11 December 2016 saw the global launch of the 100 Million campaign in New Delhi, India. A 6,000-strong band of young activists marched side by side with 14 Nobel Laureates and other world leaders to Rashtrapati Bhavan, to join the President of India in a call for an end to the marginalisation of the world’s most vulnerable children and young people.
In the words of our co-founder, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, there is no demand more compelling for the rights of young people than that of young people themselves. This is why 100 Million exists: to support young people to lead the creation of a free, safe, and educated world.
Two years after the launch at the end of 2016, the campaign has expanded rapidly across the world. From India to Colombia, Togo to Fiji, the US to Japan, youth activists have been campaigning in their communities for an end to child labour, an end to violence against children, and for every child to realise their right to education.
To date, 100 Million has worked directly with thousands of young people and other activists and has inspired over 1 million people to sign up for the campaign.
Formal 100 Million launch events have been organised in Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Togo, Peru, Sweden, Germany, and the United States, while youth activists and human rights campaigners from countries including Uganda, Niger, Japan, Panama, Colombia, Liberia and many others have started campaigning under the 100 Million banner. Led by passionate young people and supported by civil society campaigning organisations, 100 Million groups are now operating on every continent.
- In India, millions of children participated in a lesson about the campaign during the Bharat Yatra (India March), which saw over 800, 000 people marching to raise awareness and effect policy change across the country – with many states agreeing to make changes to protect children from violence and abuse.
- In Sweden, 20% of politicians and three government ministers have participated in the campaign so far, resulting in an agreement that Sweden will prioritise global education –particularly for girls. After a follow-up meeting between Kailash Satyarthi, youth campaigners, and parliamentarians, the government of Sweden increased its support to the Global Partnership for Education by over 30% for 2018-2020.
- In Liberia and Uganda, youth activists are running regular outreach sessions in communities where children face multiple forms of exclusion. Their work engages children directly, and youth activists are empowering them with knowledge about their rights to freedom, safety, and education.
- In Chile, youth leaders around the country are participating in human rights education, in order to support young people in their communities understand their rights and take action for their delivery.
- In Germany, youth activists have been working with Bread for the World and the German Education Union to meet ministers and other members of the Bundestag and have already successfully engaged their representatives to accelerate efforts to ending child marginalisation at the global level.
- In Peru, a National Youth Committee is well-established and its work has already resulted in an invitation to join the National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labour. The Peruvian campaign has also hosted its first annual youth meeting, with government ministers in attendance, and is currently delivering a national outreach programme to set up youth committees in regions across the country.
- In Africa and in Europe, strong partnerships are being forged between the 100 Million campaign and youth representative bodies the All Africa Students’ Union (AASU) and the Organising Bureau of School Student Unions (OBESSU).
- Globally, 100 Million has developed partnerships with the global teachers’ union federation Education International, and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
We cannot wait to motivate millions more of you to take the pledge and join us in the fight for the rights of every child – we hope you will join us!