The following interview between Aditee Maskey and Kyung Hwa Kim, documented in 2004. The interview details Ms. Maskey’s thoughts on working with the ILO and UNICEF.
Before coming to Maxwell last fall [ed. – Fall 2003] on the Fulbright scholarship to study International Relations, Aditee worked for the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
(KH) Tell us about your working experiences in the ILO and UNICEF.
(Aditee) Both were similar in mandate, yet diverse in the way they implemented their programs. Thanks to both of them, I could build on my sociological background and have some experience in implementing programs targeting children’s rights, child labor and women’s rights. It also made me perceive the difficulty of working in a conflict torn area. Interacting with people at the grassroots level and identifying their needs so as to design the programs accordingly has been such a fulfilling and enriching experience.
(KH) What was your specific responsibility in the ILO and UNICEF?
(Aditee) Designing of programs (based upon proposals received from the government, NGOs, trade unions and chamber of commerce) to rescue and rehabilitate children working in risky forms of labor, providing alternatives to them such as educational opportunities and skills training, targeting their families through micro credit support for effective rehabilitation, and raising awareness of these issues through media.
(KH) Why did you start getting involved in working for international organizations in the first place? Especially, what prompted you to work for children and women?
(Aditee) I had a brief stint with journalism during my undergrad days. I got an opportunity to watch a documentary where a pregnant 11 year old girl, working as a prostitute in an Indian brothel, was saying how she ended up there, she was sold by her own uncle to a pimp. This made me look at life through a whole different perspective. I knew I had to work in the area of children’s rights then, especially in the area of awareness raising and social mobilization against evils like child bondage and child prostitution. Then I got the opportunity to join the ILO and the rest is history.