Ode to dignity – Child Labour
Ode to dignity (OTD) wants to use music, film, fashion, visual arts, poetry and theatre, to focus attention on child labour in the past as well as today. Child labour is often far away, but also often (unconsciously) very close by.
In the Netherlands a law was passed in 1874 (kinderwet van Van Houten) that forbad children under the age of 12 to work in factories. In 1990, 90 percent of Dutch children was going to school regularly. In many places in the world unfortunately children can only dream about going to school and heavy labour under extreme conditions is still a hard reality for them today.
Maastricht also has a child labour past. In the glassworks of Petrus Regout the ovens were lit day and night. The factory ran in two shifts, each working for twelve hours a day. Children would roam the streets in the middle of the night, still half asleep on their way to start their twelve hour shift in the factory.