Mira Gillis of Windsor is seen in the No Child For Sale campaign from World Vision. Photo courtesy of World Vision, provided by Mira Gillis.

Windsor student helps in fight against child labour (VIDEO)

A Windsor high school student has joined an effort to hold companies accountable for selling products made through child labour.

Mira Gillis, a Grade 11 student at F.J. Brennan Secondary, is one of 30 high school students from across Canada who is serving as a World Vision National Youth Advocate. They are participating in a campaign that is designed to let members of Parliament know about the importance of ending child labour practices.

Mira tells BlackburnNewsWindsor.com that the focus of the campaign is supply chain legislation and an online petition drive on Change.org which, as of Friday morning, had less than 34,000 signatures on it.

“What this would do is make companies in Canada report on what they’re trying to do to ensure that their products aren’t being made by people who are being forced to make those products, or by children who are being exploited,” said Mira.

Mira said her desire to be a part of World Vision and to help other people stems from a principle that was taught to her by her father.

“Ever since he was 17, he’s always had this want of sponsoring a child,” said Mira. “He gave me the mindset that we’re so lucky in this world, and if we can help other people, it’s a good thing to do.”

According to data provided by the No Child for Sale campaign, roughly $34 billion worth of products that are brought into Canada are made, at least partially, by those involved in child labour. Similar laws are already in place in Australia, France, the Netherlands, and the UK.

Mira applied online and was accepted as a National Youth Advocate. She was then invited with other advocates to Toronto, where they were then provided with the supply chain legislation as their topic. A photo shoot featuring ten of the advocates, including Mira, was done in Toronto’s Graffiti Alley, along with the production of a video that is now available on YouTube.

Although Mira said she had not directly spoken with any Windsor-Essex MPs yet on the issue, the campaign is expected to come before those on Parliament Hill at the start of next week.

Complete information on World Vision’s youth initiatives is available on its official website.

Mira Gillis, second from left, is shown with other National Youth Advocates on a location shoot in Toronto. Photo courtesy of World Vision, provided by Mira Gillis.