Mudra rolls out 2nd phase of campaign for domestic child workers

MUMBAI: Domestic child labour has been prevalent in India and in order to increase awareness around the cruelties that are meted out to these kids, Mudra has rolled out the second phase of a campaign around the same. The campaign is for an NGO -- The National Domestic Workers' Movement, which has been around for two decades.


The NGO's vision is to create a society where domestic workers are treated as persons with dignity and justice and also envision a society where child domestic work is abolished and all children enjoy the right to education and full childhood.



Of the more than 200 million children working in the world, it is impossible to know how many are exploited in domestic service. The International Labour Organization (ILO), however, estimates that more girl-children under 16 are in domestic service than in any other category of work.

Hence, The National Domestic Workers' Movement has unleashed this new campaign at the Mumbai level to create awareness among people. As part of the awareness drive, two separate sets of activities will be rolled out in the print and outdoor medium.



The purpose of the media campaign is to generate awareness on vulnerability of children in domestic work. The campaign concentrates on children in domestic work.

Domestic workers, especially children, are paid well below minimum wage for unskilled and semi-skilled workers and they are discriminated against. Labour laws do not cover domestic workers and children in domestic work. Because of this, employers can hire, fire, and mistreat domestic workers at their will. Kids are more at risk as they are more vulnerable and exposed to physical and sexual abuse, and are more unaware of their rights than adults are.

Mumbai alone has an estimated 60,000 children between 5 - 14 years in domestic work and 80,000 between 14 - 18 years according to the National Sample Survey.

The broad objectives of the campaign is to:

Raise awareness about the vulnerability of children in domestic work

Create a link between development and education of all children

Make employers realise that the development of the country is linked to their own welfare, therefore send all children to school

To sensitise people towards the child’s right to education

To dissolve the societal myth that child domestic work is a solution to poverty

To remind people that children are human beings

Speaking to, Mudra associate creative director Sukumar Menon says, "Last month, we had rolled out a campaign for child domestic workers. It was a small budget campaign, which was rolled out in prime outdoor locations in Mumbai and in a couple of select magazines like Savvy and Showtime. The aim of the campaign was to bring about the point that domestic work isn't child's play. The second phase of the campaign that we have now rolled out takes that message further."

The second campaign focuses on the problem area of child trafficking. "Since this does not come under any specific labour act, it is an area where not much can be done except generate awareness among people through the campaign to treat child domestic labour properly. We laid an emphasis on the fact that the message in campaign flowed seamlessly from the previous one," said Menon.

The National Domestic Workers' Movement has not only rolled out this new campaign but is also looking at parallel activities like school audio-visual programmes and other literacy programmes to generate awareness among people. The aim is also to make an appeal to the government to club this under the law. "Mass media is just one aspect of the entire campaign against the ill-treatment and trafficking of domestic child workers. Unlike any other social cause, this issue has never been spoken about," informs Menon.

While the previous campaign had a advertising budget of Rs 350,000 - Rs 400,000, this time round, the budget has been tripled and hence there will be more activity around the issue.

While the first campaign broke in July, the second was rolled out in September and will run through November. The new ads, which tackles the issue of trafficking, shows a child in a toy box placed besides the Barbies and the Kens of the world in a retail outlet. Of course the price tag is attached with special offers to bring out the gravity of the situation.

Menon informs that the next campaign of the NGO would tackle another issue like education or vocational training of the domestic child labour. "The aim is to bring these issues to light and make the issue a talking point. All ads that we roll out will continue to have the same look and feel. We want to sensitise and make the audience feel socially responsible. We also want to raise awareness of a civil society where every child goes to school," says Menon.

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