World Day Against Child Labour

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2024 Date12 June 2024
2025 Date12 June 2025

World Day Against Child Labour

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World Day Against Child Labour History

World Day Against Child Labour is a global observance that aims to raise awareness about the importance of eradicating child labour, and promote the rights of children to education, health, and a safe, fulfilling childhood. The day provides an opportunity for governments, civil society organizations, businesses, and individuals from around the world to come together and push for effective measures to end the exploitation of children in various work settings. Through conferences, campaigns, and events, stakeholders discuss the issues and challenges, and share experiences and best practices to eliminate this social evil.

The origin of World Day Against Child Labour traces back to 2002, when the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the observance to emphasize the need for ending child labour on a global scale. In India, child labour is a pressing issue that affects millions of children under the age of 14. Despite legislation like the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act and Right to Education Act, many children continue to work in hazardous industries like firecracker manufacturing, mining, and carpet weaving. The social and economic disparities, coupled with inadequate implementation of laws, exacerbate the problem. The observance presents a crucial opportunity for India to engage in meaningful dialogue and collaborative efforts to address this issue.

World Day Against Child Labour is typically observed in India through various programs and activities that bring together NGOs, civil society groups, and government authorities. Rallies, seminars, workshops, and awareness drives are conducted across the country, focusing on the aspects of child labour prevention and sensitization. Educational institutions also encourage students to participate in debates, essay writing competitions, and discussions to generate awareness of the issue. The observance takes place annually on June 12, as designated by the International Labour Organization. On this day, India reaffirms its commitment to safeguarding the well-being of its children and ensuring a brighter future for them.

World Day Against Child Labour facts

  • Boys are more likely to be engaged in hazardous work and sectors such as agriculture, while girls are more prevalent in domestic work and informal sectors.
  • According to the UN, there are an estimated 160 million children between the ages of 5-17 still engaged in child labor around the world.
  • The agriculture sector has the highest number of child laborers globally. It employs around 70% of child laborers, mainly in activities such as farming, livestock, fishing, and forestry.
  • The majority of child laborers in India are found in rural areas (8.1 million), as compared to 1.1 million in urban areas. Child labor is concentrated mainly in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. These five states constitute more than 50% of the total child laborers in India.
  • Child laborers in India are divided into two groups: 5-14 years (primary) and 15-18 years (secondary). Nearly 85% of child laborers in India fall in the age group of 5-14 years. Boys form a larger proportion of child laborers in India, with around 6.3 million boys (62.8%) compared to 3.7 million girls (37.2%).

Top things to do in India for World Day Against Child Labour

  • Learn how you can get involved and help end child labor.
  • Donate to reputable charities working to end child labor. Some examples include the Global March Against Child Labor and the Stop Child Labor Coalition.
  • Watch a documentary to learn more about the history of child labour in India. Here are our top picks:
    1. India's Frontier Railways: The Matheran Hill Railway (2015) - A BBC documentary that touches upon the issue of child labor in the Indian Railways.
    2. Born to Be Free (2000) - A National Geographic documentary that focuses on child labor and exploitation in the carpet industry in India.
    3. Children of the Pyre (2008) - A documentary about child laborers working in the cremation grounds of Varanasi, India.
  • Read a book to learn more about the history of child labour in India. Here are our suggestions:
    1. Child Labour in India: Problems and Policies by H. L. Kaul
    2. Child Labor in India: An Economic Analysis by Sudhanshu Handa
    3. Understanding the Challenges of Child Labour in India: Interrogating the Policy Discourses and Interventions by Ranjan Panda

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