Hundreds of millions of girls and boys throughout the world are engaged in work that deprives them of adequate education, health, leisure and basic freedoms, violating their rights. Of these children, more than half are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.
The theme for this year's World Day Against Child Labour is Human rights and social justice... Let's end child labour!
New estimates released on 1 June showed that some 5 million children are caught in forced labour, which includes conditions such as commercial sexual exploitation and debt bondage – and this is thought to be an underestimate.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it. Each year on 12 June, the World Day brings together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them.
This year, the tenth anniversary, the World Day Against Child Labour will provide a spotlight on the right of all children to be protected from child labour and from other violations of fundamental human rights. In 2010 the international community adopted a Roadmap for achieving the elimination of the worst forms of child labour by 2016, which stressed that child labour is an impediment to children’s rights and a barrier to development. World Day 2012 will highlight the work that needs to be done to make the roadmap a reality.
The ILO’s Conventions seek to protect children from exposure to child labour. Together with other international instruments relating to children’s, workers’ and human rights they provide an important framework for legislation established by national governments. However the ILO’s most recent global estimate is that 215 million children worldwide are involved in child labour, with more than half this number involved in its worst forms.1 The children concerned should be at school being educated, and acquiring skills that prepare them for decent work as adults. By entering the labour market prematurely, they are deprived of this critical education and training that can help to lift them, their families and communities out of a cycle of poverty. In its worst forms, child labourers may also be exposed to physical, psychological or moral suffering that can cause long term damage to their lives.
On this World Day the ILO is calling for:
World Day Against Child Labour - UN Page
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