World Day Against Child Labour: A look at global figures
Polity & Governance
21st Jun, 2022
The World Day against Child Labour is held annually on June 12 as a day dedicated to creating awareness about the menace of child labour and human trafficking.
World Day against Child Labour:
- June 12 was officially adopted as World Day against Child Labour in 2002 by the International Labour Organisation, a United Nations body that regulated the world of work.
- The day aims to guarantee a normal childhood to victims of child labour by providing them appropriate support for education, and medical services.
- Theme: The theme for World Day against Child Labour 2022 is “Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour."
- The theme is dedicated to the cause of increasing investment in social protection systems and schemes to establish solid social protection for protecting children from child labour.
- The day focuses on providing dignity to the life of children affected by child labour and ensuring support for their education, medical services and other needs.
- It is observed with campaigns, events and programs also addressing the issue of negative mental and physical concerns that children who are pushed into child labour endure across the world.
- Child labour is work carried out to the detriment and endangerment of a child, in violation of international law and national legislation.
- It either deprives children of schooling or requires them to assume the dual burden of schooling and work.
- Child labour to be eliminated is a subset of children in employment. It includes:
- All “unconditional” worst forms of child labour, such as slavery or practices similar to slavery, the use of a child for prostitution or for illicit activities;
- Work done by children under the minimum legal age for that type of work, as defined by national legislation in accordance with international standards.
- The worst forms of child labour involves children being enslaved, separated from their families, exposed to serious hazards and illnesses and/or left to fend for themselves on the streets of large cities – often at a very early age.
- Whether or not particular forms of “work” can be called “child labour” depends on the child’s age, the type and hours of work performed, the conditions under which it is performed and the objectives pursued by individual countries.
- Convention No. 138 provides that the minimum age for admission to employment shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling.
- The ILO’s adoption of Convention No. 182 in 1999 consolidated the global consensus on child labour elimination.
- It provided much-needed focus without abandoning the overarching goal, expressed in Convention No. 138, of the effective abolition of child labour.
- Moreover, the concept of the worst forms helps set priorities and can be used as an entry point in tackling the mainstream child labour problem.
Child labour situation around the world:
- Around the world, 160 million children, some as little as five, are engaged in child labour, despite alleviation efforts of the last two decades.
- Africa ranks highest among regions both in the percentage of children in child labour — one-fifth — and the absolute number of children in child labour — 72 million, states the UN.
- Africa and the Asia and the Pacific regions together account for almost nine out of every ten children in child labour worldwide.
- The remaining child labour population is divided among the Americas (11 million), Europe and Central Asia (6 million), and the Arab States (1 million).
- In terms of incidence, 5% of children are in child labour in the Americas, 4% in Europe and Central Asia, and 3% in the Arab States, according to the UN.