The following are the African Movement of Working Children and Youth Objectives:

1. Promotion and strengthening of their 12 rights, through concretisation and improvement of living and working conditions of WCY
2. Strengthening of communication skills with members and Associations
3. Capacity-building in order to undertake successful Income Generating Activities (IGAs)
4. Strengthening of member Associations and animator skills
5. Development of collaboration between WCYAs and local authorities, international institutions, NGOs and other movements
6. Organization of WCYAs at the national level for joint activities and national  programmes.
7. Participate in international child debates and meetings

1 – Promotion and strengthening of their 12 rights, through concretisation

In 1994, founding members (girls and boys) of the AMWCY, identified 12 major rights, to fight against child exploitation and bad working conditions. They formed a program to promote these rights.

The 12 rights are the common backbone for the WCY living in 64 African towns. They completely match the child rights mentioned in the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) and in the African Charter on Human Rights and Children’s Welfare.

  • The right to be taught a trade
    •The right to remain in the village (no exodus)
    •The right to work in a safe environment
    •The right to light and limited work
    •The right to rest when sick
    •The right to be respected
    •The right to be listened to
    •The right to play (leisure)
    •The right to healthcare
    •The right to self-expression and to get organised
    •The right to learn how to read and write
    •The right to equitable legal aid (in case of trouble)

For the progress of these rights, the AMWCY with the support of Enda TM as well as other financial partners, undertake the following activities:

  • Awareness campaigns targeted towards communities and authorities through debates, radio transmissions and TV programmes.
    •Financial contributions for the setting up of a health system and a first aid kit. Negotiations with health authorities in order to get lower costs or free-of-charge health care or consultations.
    •Creation of literacy classes, school stationary gifts to children, the building of centres
    •Encounters with grassroot groups, organisation of reflection sessions, printing of membership cards.
    •Mobilization and commemoration of devoted child celebration activites (1st May, 12th June, 16th June, 23 rd December) for advocacy campaigns with authorities.

WCY tirelessly inform, train children and adults on the 12 rights, which make it their first and fundamental activity that cements their movement.

2 – Strengthening of communication skills with members and associations

Communication is used as a tool for building members and animator capacities to help undertake successful activities.

In order to develop communication within the Associations,each year the AWCY organise trainings in listening, verbal or written expression, radio for better communication with communities and finally infomation technology training. Encounters with grassroot groups promotes dialogue in which difficulties encountered are mentioned and solutions are highlighted. Other means of communication used include telephones, letters, email, electronic conferences, the page web, the annual newsletter « WCY face the challenge », the monthly electronic bulletin « Calao Express », posters, leaflets, tee-shirts, drama, folkore, games and banners are used. Information circulates very well at the grassroot and AMWCY level.

Radio trainings are organized in the countries which boosts communication through media, but most importantly for better communictation among the AWCY of the same country.The annual news bulletin “WCY face the challenge” is produced and distributed by the « Communciation Group » each year. At the back of this bulletin, you find all the addresses of the different AWCY BN.

The network [email protected] is a good information circulator.

In 1999, an editorial Committee of the AMWCY edited the book “Voice of African children” in French and English. A film Commission took part in the making of 2 films “the children’s might” and “Decisions taken under the coconut tree”.Recently (2010 – 2011) a video – clip and a cartoon on migration was made by the movement members.

3 – Capacity-building of members for undertaking successful Income generating Activities (IGAs)

In order to overcome children’s poverty, the AWCY have made it possible, through micro credit, to subsidise (individually or collectively) subsistence activities of WCY or activities which are underway. This credit empowers members through training, creation and management of Income Generating Activities (IGAs). The WCYAs have also engaged in their own IGAs in special services in order to earn more money for their activities.

Many more IGAs have been undertaken in most of the countries as a result of the poster “how to successfully undertake an IGA” (from the “WCY face the challenge” issue N° 2) and through the pedagogical support from literacy teachers.

There are 2 types of IGAs:

*Associative: in aid of the AWCY, through baby foot games, or chair renting for example or through equipment for training – production (dyeing products, sewing machines, or carpentry equipment)
*Individual: refundable loans can be obtained by WCY for individual activities or for expanding IGAs which are already underway.

4 – Strengthening of member Associations and animator skills

This reinforcement is a very important process. To accomplish this, the AMWCY has engaged in different trainings like radio, supportive listening sessions, technical support to associative activities and Participatory Action Research (PAR), health reproduction and HIV/AIDS, computer techniques, creation and management of projects, elaboration of action plans on early child migration and trafficking and comics production.

Radio training sessions boost local and national trainings. Several trainings are organised through financial partnership on issues like “early migration and child trafficking, listening and action-research”. Consequently, the training dynamic gets stronger step by step.

These trainings enable more autonomy for drafting action plans, activity and financial reports and for overcoming problems through discussions and organising meetings. The AMWCY approach towards children (including children who are trafficked), has improved. Animators’ attitude towards children and authorities has also improved.

5 – Development of collaboration among the AWCY, local authorities, international institutions, NGOs

To increase this collaboration, the AMWCY has raised awareness through advocacy campaigns with authorities, institutions, NGOs, Movements and also held discussions with them by highlighting their requests, action plans, initiatives, activities and by sending reports.

They also conduct numerous exemplary actions such as cleaning of places, hospitals, or schools, afforestation, actions against HIV AIDS, in order to accept their active citizenship better. Gradually they end up being accepted for their good will.

They collaborate readily with good will, especially with those involved in supporting children in Migration, Communities, associations, local and international NGOs.

Thus it is not rare to see the AWCY National coordinations, involved in national programs in their discussions and national coalitions.

6 – Organisation of the AWCY at national level for joint activities and national programmes

This is undoubtedly the most important step forward. All of the training sessions and national meetings have enabled progress in countries where the AWCY exist in more than 3 towns and also lead to the creation of national action plans and national co-ordination mechanisms. These mechanisms have helped in strengthening the presence of the numerous AWCY in these countries.

Today in 22 member countries of the AMWCY,19 present an organization of National Coordination (minimum three associations) some even exceeding the 30 member associations.

7 – Participation in international debates and meetings in favour of children

The AMWCY takes part in international meetings, forums and regional workshops on the following topics:

  • Birth registration
    •International meetings among Working Children Movements
    •Launching of the annual report on “a world fit for children” (GMC)
    •The African child situation
    •Housemaids education
    •Fight against child abuse
    •Protection of “street children »

The AMWCY takes part in the regional working group activities on « child migration » (ILO, Enda, IOM, Plan, Save the Children, UNICEF,Terre des Hommes) with several studies undertaken by the AMWCY in this field.