All over the world children are exploited and have to work under the most difficult conditions. Christian Hermanny from Kindernothilfe denounces in an interview with this site.The event was aimed in particular at child labor in brickworks in Peru.
Interviewer: Today, Friday, is the World Day against Child Labor. Already yesterday, students – the "Action!Kidz" from all over NRW set a sign against child labor in the Veltins Arena on Schalke – organized by Kindernothilfe. Why was the Veltins Arena on Schalke chosen as the location for this press conference??
Christian Herrmanny (Kindernothilfe): We were looking for a prominent place to make it clear: Children should not be slaves, children should also have a child-friendly way of life. That is why we have chosen the motto "Kick-off for the right to play". Stop exploitation. This means that children should no longer work in mines, in the fields, on ships or in factories. But above all, they should be able to enjoy education, that is, be able to go to schools, for example. But they also have their right to free time. And that is a guaranteed right of children, that children have time for themselves, to be able to occupy themselves completely freed from all the obligations of the day.
Interviewer: What exactly is behind the term "action"?!Kidz"?
Hermanny: Kindernothilfe thought about this in 2007: How can we get girls and boys in Germany more involved??We have always informed them about our ies and have noticed that once they feel well informed, they often feel the need to get involved themselves and do something about these conditions they have heard about. And the "Action.Kids!"Kindernothilfe’s projects are a platform for this. The girls and boys who have then dealt with the main topic of child labor – in class, in group lessons, in confirmation classes – can then independently seek sponsors for certain actions or carry out small works of a symbolic nature. All this in order to collect money and support Kindernothilfe’s projects.
Interviewer: It is especially about child labor in Peru. Under which conditions children have to work there day after day? Do you have examples?
Hermanny: I was there myself a year and a half ago. We visited children in brickworks in northern Peru. There is a region where all the "good" circumstances for brick production come together: There is plenty of water, there is clayey soil and there are limestone quarries. The kids work right there, in the quarries – mostly with their parents, but also in the brickyards themselves. And interestingly, almost only children are employed there. That means there are adults who supervise and guide, but the actual work, the difficult shaping of these bricks, the pounding of the clay, the firing of the bricks, the dragging and deburring of the bricks, that is all done by children’s hands. We have seen how exhausting and how difficult this task is and how it prevents children from going to schools. Some children then use the weekend to finance their own school books and uniforms. That means they don’t have it quite as hard. They can still go to school and use the weekend to work in the brickyards, which doesn’t make it any easier for them. But some children are actually in the brickyard every day, slaving away there under adverse conditions, with poor pay, and then have no schooling. Not only Kindernothilfe, but also common sense says: This cannot be. Because that’s where children’s rights are actually trampled on.