World Day Against Child Labour
All children have the right to live a dignified and free life. it is up to us as human beings to ensure their freedom is protected.
As many elements of society move forward into a more humane and charitable existence, there are still many components of civilisation that are lacking and that continue to take advantage of our youngest and most fragile members. Due to the very real existence of global poverty, there are millions of children that are currently involved in Child Labour, which can be described as work that has the ability to deny children of their utmost potential, their childhood and their dignity. It is work that is harmful to children's physical, mental or social development and ultimately interferes with their schooling by depriving them of attendance; requiring them to combine long, gruelling hours of hard work with schooling or obliges them to leave school at an earlier than average age.
In the most extreme cases, Child Labour can be defined as children being enslaved, separated from their families or guardians and being exposed to harmful situations, hazards and illness. Such extreme cases find children in differing forms of slavery, such as the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict. Other extreme cases include, the use of a child in the production or trafficking of drugs, the procuring or offering of a child for prostitution or pornography and any work that has the likelihood of harming the safety, health or morals of children.
In 2017, Global Estimations concluded that globally, there are 151.6 million children aged 5-17 in Child Labour. Among that 151.6 million, 72.5 million of these children are involved in hazardous work, meaning work that puts them at the greatest possible risk, putting their health, safety and moral development in great danger. In 2015, the United Nations set the target of all Child Labour being eradicated by 2025, but the current pace of progress is too slow and unfortunately this target will not be met, leaving the world without a foreseeable end date to this inhumane World issue.
Children that are based in countries affected by drastic war, conflict and disasters are more likely to find themselves in an unhealthy and callous work environment. Africa has the most cases by numbers with one in five children being involved in some form of Child Labour. Africa is followed by Asia and the Pacific. Many examples of this can be seen when looking at the labour fields of retail, tourism and agriculture, while many more examples can be seen when looking into the underworld, where they are directly involved in actions such as trafficking and mining, or forced to become child soldiers.
Domestic work is also a very common form of Child Labour and The Human Rights Watch has reported that in Morocco there are many cases of Children (mostly girls) spending twelve hours a day, seven days a week, undertaking gruelling domestic labour. These children are denied many basic human rights such as education and are regularly verbally and physically abused, overworked and forced to starve.
It is critical for the world to stop and remember that these unfathomably cruel incidents are still occurring in our world. “World Against Child Labour” day encourages us all to remember that every child has the right to be free and will inspire us to work together to support the most vulnerable members of society. For more information on World Against Child Labour Day or on how to have your voice heard, head to www.ilo.org/ChildLabourWorldDay