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  • 執筆者の写真Hiroshige FUJII

The Beginning of My Internship in ACE

B4 Ayaka Sakakibara

I begin my internship in ACE on 9th November. Now, having finished the first month of orientations, I am gradually involved in the everyday work at ACE. In this essay, I will share what I think through the orientation and my prospects in ACE.

ACE is one of the NPOs in Japan that tackles the problem of child labor in the world. The name "ACE" stands for Action against Child Exploitations. Its primary focus areas are Ghana, where many children suffer from child labor in cacao plantations, and India, where many children engage in tea plantations. Child labor is a big problem because it prevents children from going to school and growing up in good health.

Although ACE is not a big organization like JICA or UNICEF, it contributes to solving the problem by cooperating with other organizations, including NGOs from other countries' companies, and sometimes embedded in a local government project. The ways above I learned in the orientation are very interesting for me. That's because it is obviously challenging to collect and hire all kinds of experts associated with the cause of child labor, such as familiar with the local situation, have knowledge on glowing better products in each plantation, and professionals for selling goods made from products. However, even if an organization has only one kind of specialist, it can develop a solution connecting with others. In addition, I think that the method is flexible and useful when an organization starts a new project in other areas.

ACE makes an effort for domestic issues on children as well. Despite the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Child, Japan does not have relevant, inclusive domestic law. ACE is concerned that the absence of the law is the essential factor of Japanese low-level awareness of the rights. I agree with the point because we do not have reliable Japanese law when we consider the right. From my experience, the right to participation is ignored in deciding the issue on the children. For example, playthings in parks are removed before children realize it, and sports meetings are canceled when neighbors say it is noisy. However, a good opportunity has presented itself. These days, discussions between students and adults are increasing. I heard that students held meetings with teachers to change the law of school, discussed with teachers and community residents to hold sports meetings in the COVID-19 crisis, and boys who like play soccer requested permission to play soccer in the certain park to public office and got it. Those stories are not always told in the context of the rights of children, but I think those represent it is time for us to prevail the rights for the participation of children.

My work in the internship is relevant to the spread of the rights of children. I am a publicist and mainly in charge of providing information on illegal work conditions for children under 19. Without knowledge of the illegal condition, children cannot notice and resist it when they are suffered. So, ACE uses Twitter and Instagram to tell the information whose targets are children and who employ them, and I am taking part in the job. Our big challenge is reinforcing the ability to deliver the message to the children. For the time being, I repeat the process of suggesting some plans and getting feedback from staff. But, to make the information broaden more widely, I will do my best.

I will make the most out of the experience in ACE. There are two ways.

First, I can use it in a workshop on the child's rights held by the seminar I belong to. The seminar's members hold workshops on human rights for junior high and high school students (The picture was taken in one of our workshops held this month). Although I have not been involved in ACE workshops, I plan to. I think the experience of workshops held by either is useful and multiplier. Therefore, in both workshops, I will pay attention to how participants are what are the good and bad.

Second, I believe that trial and error for spreading the information in ACE will contribute to my future job. I will work to tell what is happening surrounding human rights issues in the world as a journalist and hope the information provides people with the opportunity to reconsider human rights around us. As struggling in ACE, how to deliver what I want to tell will be a big challenge in the future. Therefore, I will accumulate the experience as much as possible and want to find some kind of answer.

My internship has just started. I have nine months. Not to waste my time and connect next step, I will take on challenges aggressively in ACE.


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