The United Nations (UN)’s World Day Against Child Labour is annually observed on 12th June across the world to raise awareness about the need to focus attention of child labour and the action and efforts needed to end child labour and the goal behind observing the day is to encourage the growing movement against child labour.
- The theme of World Day Against Child Labour 2023 is “Social Justice for All. End Child Labour!“
- The year 2023 marks the 21st year of observance of the World Day Against Child Labour
i. The World Day Against Child Labour was launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO), an UN agency in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.
- The day was launched to highlight the conditions of children engaged in child labour and what can be done to help them.
- ‘Abolition of Child Labour’ was one of the main objective for ILO, which was founded in 1919.
ii. The first-ever World Day Against Child Labour was observed on 12th June 2002.
Call for action:
World Day against Child Labour on June 12 2023 serves as a call to action for:
i. Reinvigorated international action to achieve social justice, particularly under the envisaged Global Coalition for Social Justice, with child labour elimination as one of its important elements;
ii. Universal ratification of ILO Convention No. 138 on Minimum Age , which, together with the universal ratification of ILO Convention No. 182 on Worst Forms of Child Labour, achieved in 2020, would provide all children with legal protection against all forms of child labour;
iii. Effective implementation of the Durban Call to Action.
- Durban Call to Action is a document in which children are signatories to the document, which emphasizes the need for urgent action to end child labour, and was adopted by Delegates at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour on 20th May 2022 in Durban, South Africa.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)’s and Child Labour:
Target 8.7 of the 2030 Agenda for SDG adopted in 2015, calls out to end child labour in all its forms by 2025 such as:
- Taking effective measures for strengthening the prevention of forced labour;
- Ending modern slavery and human trafficking;
- Protecting and eliminating the Worst form of Child Labour including the recruitment of child soldiers and involving children in Agriculture;
Note: To that effect, the Durban Call to Action commits Member States to tracking their own progress during the period 2022 to 2025 and present the results at the 6th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour.
i. Child labour is work carried out to the detriment and endangerment of a child, in violation of international law and national legislation.
ii. All “unconditional” worst forms of child labour, which are internationally defined as slavery, trafficking, forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict, prostitution and pornography, and illicit activities.
iii. Labour performed by children under the minimum legal age specified for that kind of work, as defined by national legislation, in accordance with accepted international standards.
iv. Labour that jeopardises the physical, mental or moral well-being of a child, known as “hazardous work”.
Note: Not all work done by children should be classified as child labour that is to be targeted for elimination, the participation of children’s or adolescents’ in work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling, is generally regarded as being something positive.
Prevalence of Child Labour:
i. Africa ranks highest among regions both in the percentage of children in child labour with 5%, which is about 72 million. Asia and the Pacific ranks second highest in both these measures with 7% (62 million).
ii. The remaining child labour population is divided among the Americas 5% (11 million), Europe and Central Asia 4% (6 million), and the Arab States 3% (1 million).
iii. 9% all children in lower-middle-income countries, and 7% of all children in upper-middle-income countries, are in child labour and as of now around 160 million children are still engaged in child labour, That is almost one in ten children worldwide.
About International Labour Organization (ILO):
Founded in– 1919
Director-General– Gilbert F. Houngbo
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland