Pakistani singer wins the auspicious international Music Against Child Labour Award

LAHORE: The International Music Against Child Labour award has been given to a rising singer from Pakistan, Faraz Ahmad, for his outstanding work.

The announcement of Faraz Ahmed’s win was officially made during the live stream of the 109th International Labour Conference held on June 10 2021.

Famous jurors for the campaign include the likes of Grammy winners, A. R. Rehman, Laura Pausini and Ralph Johnson. Faraz Ahmed’s entry Faryaad – which was was written, composed and performed by the artist himself – won big at the auspicious Music Against Child Labour Competition 2021.

In Pakistan, the event was hosted and managed by The Little Art in collaboration with Alhamra. The Little Art signed an MoU with Jeunesses Musicales International, the global producer of the project to promote the cause of child labour through music in Pakistan.

The project gave a public call for entries to Pakistan musicians who would be interested to make and submit music and songs that address child labour.

The Little Art Director Shoaib Iqbal informed that they received astonishing 45 entries from child musicians and singers and young artists. The shortlisted entries were submitted officially from Pakistan to the global competition organised by UN’s International Labour Organisation.

Shoaib Iqbal said: “For over a decade, The Little Art has furthered the cause to talk about issues such as child labour and rights through arts. We are thrilled to be part of this global initiative by ILO, and effectively engage musicians from Pakistan to produce music for change.”

Faraz Ahmed will receive a cash prize and the opportunity for Faryaad to be part of the global World Day Against Child Labour event. While talking about the creative process, winner Faraz Ahmed explained, “The concept and the name were penned prior to me finding out about the competition.”

“I was driving one day and came across a little child on the street, trying to find some shade under a tree,” he explained. “He wanted to enjoy his mid-day meal. Just that sight hit me so hard. He was completely stripped of his childhood. It made me wonder, the kind of world we live in. We as a society have failed these little ones.

“We’ve taken away their right to play. Toys have been replaced by tools. It’s so inhumane. It took me time to develop the lyrics further but to date, I haven’t been able to forget that image. Children are so innocent. It doesn’t matter who they are, we as people have the duty of protecting them and their rights. Imagine a world without innocence, childhood and play…already sounds like a mundane monochromatic nightmare to me.”

The Music Against Child Labour Initiative is a global campaign officially launched in 2013 by the International Labour Organization together with some of the world’s greatest musicians and a number of important international music organizations. Every year the global music community is called to harness the power of music in helping combat child labour, which affects 152 million children worldwide.

The competition is being run by the global youth music organization Jeunesses Musicales International in collaboration with the International Labour Organization, under the umbrella of the Music Initiative.

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