“The Hyderabad conference in 2004 was a turning point in our journey. It was the first time so many people in India got together to speak about child labour. We really changed the way people thought and talked about child labour. MVF used to be a local organisation, and this conference took us to a global level. We didn’t know how many people we should invite and Hivos said 200 would be enough. In the end registration went up to 5000! All the volunteers we had been working with also wanted to join. We asked the Indian Railway Company to give us discount to let all these volunteers travel to Hyderabad. And they did. They gave us 50% discount upon showing a voucher of registration for the conference. And the great thing was: the Railway Company had to give this order throughout all the railway stations in India, so the message reached all across the country.”
The Hyderabad conference is followed by exchange visits to Africa and Central America with child rights activists from Asia (led by MV Foundation) and teachers’ union leaders from Albania and Morocco. Stop Child Labour organizes regional conferences in Honduras and Kenya. These events are eye-opening for both hosts and visitors. They see that the Indian example could also work in other contexts. Initial scepticism is replaced by excitement.
Director MV Foundation