NL-Aid on BBA & Global March – A Rectification & Apology

Posted on | maart 26, 2012 | 4 Comments

Bachpan Bachao Andolan : Save the Childhood Movement

From December 2010 to September 2011, NL-Aid has published 5 articles about Bachpan Bachao Andolan and Global March Against Child Labour in which their output and involvement in child labour is questioned. These articles were written by yours truly. The arguments were interwoven around documentation that was sent by secret informants. As I have not been able to confirm the truth, authenticity and intentions of these informants, I would like to rectify these facts. The articles have caused unnecessary damage to NL-Aid, especially with myself as a person, and thus I wish to retract everything, rectify the mistake that has been made and apologise to all concerned, including BBA & Global March, their donors like the Netherlands Embassy, Kids Rights, etc., and all the individuals involved like Kailash Satyarthi, etc.

I have worked for BBA from 1997/98. In November 1997 BBA launched the Global March Against Child Labour. This project was to be processed in 100 countries. I worked at the International Secretariat with 10 different nationalities, most of them as a volunteer. A huge operation. With great deeds you have to deal with teething. The ratio between range and human input differed. This led to various targets between individuals: the great message versus detail. In years, these differences became extremes.

I hope, this story will be a lesson for people dealing with varied environments, different cultures and much pressure on a project with major interests. As the same image looks different from different angles, such is the area of development that cultural and other differences can really make the most innocuous thing, the most evil.

The sector of development aid, especially of protection of child rights is such an extremely sensitive area, and any question, raised without just and proper motive, can really only go on to harm the anti – child rights movement, something that I will do everything to protect. Therefore, as soon as I have been made aware of the ill – intentions of people, I have decided to do the only right thing and take back everything against BBA and/ Global March.

It is my most sincere hope and wish that transparency and output become the only notions of development. Through this withdrawal of all my reports and allegations, along with an unconditional apology to all the people I may have hurt inadvertently through my writings, or any other damage my writings may have caused, I hope people learn to put aside their differences and that the entire development sector works together for a better world.

This is a lesson also for people who wish to use a perfectly honourable media for ill – gotten and ill conceived gains. The Internet is a wonderful tool of communication and, especially, and myself, have always tried to uphold the highest standards of openness, transparency, care and prudency in our reports to ensure that the truth comes out. However, certain people with vested interest have made unethical use of my limited resources and time, so informants with bad intentions saw their chance and have encouraged false arguments against BBA through This was incorrect and an unjust way to vent out vested interests.

I would exonerate BBA of all the negative that I have published. I also think it’s great that BBA is forgiving towards me and NL-Aid. I have also been convinced of BBA output and achievements in protection of child rights, and therefore, I wish BBA all the best and I look forward to their leadership and developments in protecting children in India and the world.

AUTHOR: Hans Sluijter
E-MAIL: info [at]


4 Responses to “NL-Aid on BBA & Global March – A Rectification & Apology”

  1. Martin Punaks
    maart 30th, 2012 @ 11:34

    Dear Hans,

    I was the Head of Resource Mobilisation for BBA between 2008 and 2010. I followed your blogs about BBA with interest, but also sadness because I never experienced any of the negative working practices which your blogs suggested about BBA. BBA was, and remains for me, a shining example of a good NGO effectively tackling problems of child labour and child trafficking in India.

    It takes real courage to admit when you have made a mistake, and I hugely admire you and NL-Aid for doing so. Thank you so much for posting this blog about an organisation I so admire and so has influenced my work in working against child exploitation. You have done a great thing today.

  2. Ajoy Kumar Singh
    april 10th, 2012 @ 15:19

    Dear Hans,
    Thanks. Now you have taken a good step in best interest of child. My heartiest congratulation to you.

  3. Saurabh Singh
    mei 2nd, 2012 @ 08:39

    Dear Hans,
    I appreciate your rectification and apology for your articles on Bachpan Bachao Andolan and Global March Against Child Labor.

    I wish you and your blog all the Best!

  4. Pravin Lukka
    augustus 6th, 2012 @ 01:33

    Dear Hans
    I admire you for your retraction and apology to BBA.
    I was watching a documentary programme on the rescue of a young girl kidnapped from a small village in Indian stae of Uttarakhand and sold into child labour to a middle class family in New Delhi. It took three years and the help of NGOs, including BBA to rescue the young girl from this forced labour imprinsonment. I went to their websites to check them out and I am very impressed with the work of BBA. I will try and do everything I can to help BBA from my comfortable retirement in the UK.

    I greatly admire your apology and wish you all the best for your future work in the Netherlands, a country I hope to visit in the near future.

    Best wishes and kind regards

    Pravin Lukka, UK

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