|Nandana Reddy, founder and Director of Development at CWC.|
In their nomination letter sent to the Nobel Committee, they have written: ”Since 1980, Concerned for Working Children (CWC) has contributed to several initiatives with such children’s rights organisations as Bhima Sangha and Makkala Panchayats (children’s councils) in Karnataka to strengthen the influence of children.
The organisation and its network have been pioneers in children’s participation within research, public planning, youth democracy, media and other areas. Few, if any, other local organisations elsewhere have contributed as much to this work. CWC is also an active contributor in the joint international work for the improvement of children’s participation”.
The nomination by the Norwegian parliamentarians is for three organisations that promote the rights of children, Concerned for Working Children, Save the Children, and UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund).
Their formal letter ends with these lines, “An award to these three organisations would greatly contribute to a much-needed increase in the worldwide focus and attention on the children’s right to participation.”
During the last three decades, the Concerned for Working Children (CWC) has been working in partnership with children from the most marginalised communities, especially working children, to realise their rights, with emphasis on their right to participation in decision-making processes.
Since 1980, CWC has contributed to various initiatives towards building several child-led organisations, starting with Bhima Sangha, the first- ever children’s own organisation in Asia, by empowering working children in Karnataka to demand realisation of all their rights without conditionalities. CWC has also been facilitating organisations of school-going children and children of migrant communities in coastal Udupi district, in Bellary district and in Bangalore city.
CWC and its various networks have facilitated children to be pioneers in areas of child-led research and information management, where children own their own information; public planning; social mobilisation such as campaigns against child marriages, media advocacy and policy advocacy. It not only advocates children’s rights in all policy discourses, but also enables participation of children in such decision-making processes to ensure their viewpoints get attention.
Accepting this nomination with gratitude, the CWC states: “The credit goes to our primary constituency and partners – working children – and the many battles they have fought in numerous forums at home and around the world for their voices to be heard.
Their struggle has always been a peaceful one and now one of patience as they continue their crusade in an environment that not only does not recognise them as workers, but has criminalised their work.”
The Concerned For Working Children is a nominee for Nobel Peace Prize 2012