African Movement of Working Children and Youth

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The African Movement of Working Children and Youth (AMWCY), or Mouvement italian

des enfants et jeunes travailleurs (Maejt) in french, is a network of associations of working children from 20 African countries. The purpose of this child-led organization is to protect working minors through the establishment of local benefit societies, campaigns of sensibilization of the public opinion, and negotiation with the political authorities. The movement has a bulletin entitled Lettre de la rue and in 1999 it has published the book Voix des enfants d'Afrique ("Voice of the children of Africa"), which has been translated in several languages.

The movement was formally created in July 1994 in Bouaké (Côte d'Ivoire), where the first international meeting was held. At the Bouaké meeting, both the movement "vision" and a list of 12 priority rights for working children were outlined:

Vision: All African children, must be born and grow in good condition, and enjoy their full rights to thrive, while at the same time they help their communities to develop harmoniously in peace and in a favourable environment.

Priority rights:

  1. The right to be respected
  2. The right to be taught a trade
  3. The right to stay in the village (not to migrate)
  4. The right to work in a safe environment
  5. The right to light and limited work
  6. The right to rest when sick
  7. The right to be listened to
  8. The right to healthcare
  9. The right to learn to read and to write
  10. The right to play
  11. The right to self-expression and to form organizations
  12. The right to equitable legal aid, in case of difficulty.

AMWCY has gained the support of ECOWAS, Save the Children, Plan, ILO and UNESCO and it has branches in 21 countries, including Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad,Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Zimbabwe.

The AMWCY has also established relationships with similar organizations in other parts of the world (for example India and South America) and AMWCY delegates have been invited to several international meetings about minors and their rights, such as the 1996 Unicef convention on minor labour in Africa and the 2002 special UN session on infancy.

See also[edit]


  • VVAA. Voix des enfants d'Afrique

External links[edit]