World Day Against Child Labour

Quick Facts - NZ

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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

The observance of World Day Against Child Labour aims to raise awareness and promote action against the harmful and oppressive exploitation of children in labour. This event was established by the International Labour Organization (ILO). World Day Against Child Labour tackles a global issue affecting millions of children who are forced into work, often in dangerous conditions, and denied access to education, healthcare, and a nurturing life. The observance seeks to highlight the importance of eradicating child labour in order to ensure the welfare and dignity of every child, and supports efforts to create policies and programs towards that goal.

Although child labour is less prevalent in New Zealand compared to other countries, the World Day Against Child Labour still holds significance in promoting child rights within the nation. Historically, the ILO has worked alongside the New Zealand government to prioritise improvements in employment standards, health and safety measures, and the regulation of the working age. As a member of the international community, New Zealand plays a role in raising awareness about child labour and advocating for its elimination in countries suffering from this issue.

During the observance of World Day Against Child Labour in New Zealand, activities may include awareness campaigns, educational workshops, panel discussions, and media events focusing on child labour and its consequences. Some organisations may use this day to collaborate with other countries and share knowledge in the fight against child labour. World Day Against Child Labour is observed annually on June 12th.

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.
  • In 1960, the Minimum Wage Act was passed in New Zealand, which included provisions for the minimum age of employment. Currently, the minimum age for full-time employment in New Zealand is 16 years. Part-time work or light duties can be performed by young people aged 14-15 with specific limitations.
  • Although child labor rates have decreased significantly over time, there are still occasional reports of young people working in unsafe conditions in agriculture and family businesses.

Top things to do in NZ 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 human rights and child labor in New Zealand. Here are our recommendations:
    1. Wild South: The New Chimney Sweeps (1991) - A documentary about children working as chimney sweeps in New Zealand during the industrial era.
    2. The New Zealand Wars (1998) - A documentary series exploring the history of New Zealand, which includes information on the development of the working class in New Zealand.
    3. Workers' Rights (2016) - A series of interviews discussing the history of worker's rights in New Zealand.
  • Read a book to learn more about the history of child labour in New Zealand. Here are our suggestions:
    1. Child Employment in New Zealand: A Literature Review of the Historical Context by Hugh Morrison and Keri Tome
    2. Growing up in New Zealand: A Longitudinal Study of New Zealand Children and Their Families by Susan Morton and Team
    3. Children's Work and Welfare, 1780-1890 by Pamela Sharpe

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