Les Enfants Forcats (Child Slave Labourers)
Director: Hubert Dubois
Dubois’ Child Slave Labourers presents an honest and startling look at the reality of children put to work in appalling conditions for little to no pay. But rather than focus solely on those who seek to harm, the film follows the individuals and organizations fighting to return these kids to their childhood.
The main chord of the film is Kailash Satyarti, founder of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BAA) organization in India. A tireless crusader against the imprisonment of children since the 1980s, Satyarti originated the Global March Against Slave Labour in 1998. The march set in motion a plan to eradicate child labour by 2016, supported by 147 countries.
Dubois' film serves as a check-in on the promises made in 1998, and a general survey of the positive work that’s come out of the march. A quiet and straightforward piece of work, there’s no sensationalism here: the plight of these children isn’t dressed up in melodrama.
Rather, it’s the solutions that take the limelight. Dubois skips around the globe, highlighting a group of students in Burkina Faso working with Mali refugees, a work-study program designed for garbage dump workers in the Dominican Republic, a young North Carolina couple targeting the legislative system in the state, and more.
And throughout the film Satyarti’s efforts in Dehli, not to mention internationally, are chronicled, always echoed by his message of hope.