The World Day Against Child Labour, observed on June 12 every year, calls for an end to the brutalities of child labour across the world. Despite the efforts made by NGOs and government, the plight of illegal young labours is a reality of society that we live in and one we need to confront. It was back in 2002 when the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour. The main aim of this day is to have focussed attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and devise efforts needed to eliminate it completely.
Every year on June 12, the World Day Against Child Labour 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.
However, despite the efforts, ILO data for the year 2016 suggests we are miles away from making the world child labour free. ILO’s report of ‘Global estimates of child labour: Results and trends, 2012-2016’ states as many as 152 million children between the ages of five and 17 are being forced into labour under unspeakable conditions.
* Among the 152 million children involved in child labour across the globe, as many as 73 million perform hazardous work.
* Hazardous labour comprises of working in manual scavenging, construction, agriculture, mines, factories, as street hawkers, domestic help, etc.
* Such labour, the ILO points out, “endangers the health, safety and moral development of children”. Not only that, it also takes away a normal childhood and proper education from the children.
* Hazardous child labour affects 45 million boys and 28 million girls around the world.
* In recent years, the number of children between the ages of five and 11 involved in hazardous labour has increased to 19 million.
Acording to data procured by United Nations, in the total workforce of 541 million young workers includes 37 million children work hazardous child labour. The 541 million young workers are aged between 15-24 years old. This accounts for more than 15 per cent of the world’s labour force and suffers up to a 40 per cent higher rate of nonfatal occupational injuries than adult workers older than 25 stated the report.
Another report, this one by Save the Children, puts more than half the world’s children are at risk of poverty, conflict and discrimination against girls. The report was published just days ahead of International Children’s Day on June 1 this year. The report states that the global situation has improved when compared with last year however as per the charity the progress is not as fast as it should be.
However, there have been reports where people have shown their concern about the menace plaguing the society. Three young students from Madurai’s Setupathi Higher Secondary School and M.M. Higher Secondary School teamed up with the officials of Department of Labour and did something spectacular. The young students painted the wall near the railway junction to mark the World Day Against Child Labour on Saturday, reported The Hindu.
The work earned praise from collector K. Veera Raghava Rao, who said that this work was important to spread the message to end child labour and make the district of Madurai child labour-free.