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  • World Day Against Child Labor

    World Day Against Child Labor

    By Nepali Patro (Sudan Bhattarai Upadhyaya)
    May 29, 2020

    “World Day Against Child Labor” is held and observed every year on the 12th of the month of June, Its purpose is to promote the global movement against child labor in any kind of its existing form. The International Labor Organization (ILO) has been focusing on child labor globally since the initiation of its “World Day Against Child Labor” in 2002 and has focused on the actions and efforts needed to end it completely. Every year on June 12, the World Day Against Child Labor brings together governments, employers and trade unions, civil society as well as millions of people around the world to highlight the plight of child laborers and focus on how to help them. The ILO calls on the world community to “abolish and eliminate child labor, including the use of all type of child labor to end forced labor, modern slavery, and human trafficking. ILO has emphasized the international community to pay special attention to the fact that immediate and effective initiatives have to be taken for the prohibition and elimination of all types of child labor by the year 2025.

    What is child labor?

    According to the International Labor Organization, child labor is “work that deprives children of childhood, their potential, and dignity, which is detrimental to their physical and mental health.” In fact, any form of work that prevents children from attending school is child labor. Child Labor is classified into three types: Work that deprives children of the opportunity to go to school, 2. Work that requires children to drop out of school at an early age and 3. Work that requires children to go to school but with a heavy workload.

    The ILO has celebrated this day of the year 2019 with the slogan “Children should not work in the fields, they should be working on their dreams” but still, according to statistics, around 152 million children are working as child labors. Although child labor occurs in almost all sectors, even in developing countries such as Nepal, seven out of 10 children work in agriculture. In 2019, the International Labor Organization (ILO) celebrates its 100 years in the promotion of social justice and promoting civilized work. It has shown the world’s countries’ progress that has been made with the help of the ILO facing child labor over ILOs’ 100 years from its initiation. Since its inception in the year 1919, the issue of child protection has been included in the ILO’s preamble. One of the first conventions adopted by the ILO is the minimum age, which prohibits the employment of children under the age of 18 in any industry or in any form of labor.

    World Day Against Child Labor and its Importance.

    This day is mainly focused on child development and protecting their education and dignified life. Therefore, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of stopping child labor is an important challenge promoted by the United Nations by the year 2020. Many organizations working for the benefit of children, including the ILO, are making various efforts every day in order to prevent and eradicate child labor.

    According to ILO, hundreds of millions of children around the world are engaged in a variety of works that deprive them of their basic freedoms such as education, health, and recreation. Their child rights are being violated every day. Recently new facts have surfaced out indicating that of the total numbers of these child workers, more than half are involved in the worst forms of child labor. Children have been used in these pernicious forms of child labor, including dangerous environments, domestic slavery, and other forms of forced labor, drug trafficking, and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.

    The United Nations, International Labor Organization, which regulates the world of labor, has observed 12 June a World Day Against Child Labor, since 2002 to focus on eradication and to join efforts to combat child labor. This day brings together governments, local bodies and officials from different countries, international civil society, community leaders, workers, and employers’ organizations to identify child labor problems and define guidelines to help to end up child labor.

    On this World Day Against Child Labor, we, along with the United Nations and the International Labor Organization, call on all Nepalese to end all forms of child labor by 2025 with a firm resolution on how to achieve it, what kind of public awareness programs have to be prepared nationally by accepting the challenge to move forward with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of 8.7. The ILO has passed several conventions to improve labor conditions around the world. Not only this, but it also provides guidelines on wages, maximum working hours per day, favorable working environment, etc.

    The United Nations, the International Labor Organization, and many organizations founded for the welfare of children are working to stop child labor. But, we must also be responsible and take on our duties to help eliminate child labor. Children who come out of child labor recognize their self-worth and self-esteem. They will start living a normal life, with their human rights, and have a dignified life. There is no doubt that these children will contribute to the economical and social development of the country and the world as well. Aren’t these children the future of the country ?! However, it cannot be denied that the policy formulation made taking in view all these factors and decisions made should not be limited to paper only, but it is also a demand of the international community to take a firm path for the elimination of child labor before the world community. For which the reports and policies issued by the ILO are guided by clear vision and responses.

    So let’s all work together to stop child labor, protect the rights of children, give them the light of education and support them for the betterment of the whole society all over the world. To Read this article in the Nepali Language please click here.

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