World Day Against Child Labour

Quick Facts - GB

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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 World Day Against Child Labour is an international observance aimed at raising awareness and fostering the global movement against child labour to ensure a bright future for all children. It is organised annually by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and observed in various countries around the world. The day promotes education, safety and well-being of children, and opposes any form of work that hampers their development, be it mental or physical. The key aspects of the day include global campaigns, events, discussions and initiatives to engage and support individuals, organisations, and governments in their efforts to eliminate child labour.

The ILO launched the first World Day Against Child Labour on June 12, 2002, as part of the worldwide campaign against the worst forms of child labour. British businesses and companies rely on responsible global supply chains, where ethical practices are adhered to, ensuring that no child is exploited in the process. Hence, paying attention to this global observance is crucial for the people of the United Kingdom, both in terms of moral responsibility and in maintaining an ethical business environment.

In the United Kingdom, the World Day Against Child Labour is commemorated through various events, such as conferences, workshops, and seminars, organised by NGOs, educational institutions, and government bodies. These events encourage open dialogues on the issue and promote collaboration between local, national and international stakeholders in developing strategies and solutions to achieve a world without child labour. The day also serves as an opportunity for raising awareness among the British public regarding ethical consumer choices and the negative impacts of child labour on global society. Following the global precedent, the observance takes place every year 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.
  • The introduction of compulsory education through the Elementary Education Acts of 1870 and 1880 contributed to the reduction of child labour in the UK, as children were now legally required to attend school.
  • The current minimum age for employment in the UK is 13, with certain exceptions for things like light work, performing arts, and family businesses. Children can start full-time employment at the age of 16, but must remain in education or training until they turn 18.

Top things to do in the UK 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 the United Kingdom. Here are our sugegstions:
    1. Lost Childhood: Child Labour During The Industrial Revolution
    2. The Children Who Built Britain: The Victorian Child Labour (2020)
    3. Newsnight: Hidden Child Labour in Britain (2014)
  • Read a book to learn more about the history of child labour in the United Kingdom. Here are our top picks:
    1. Child Labour in the British Industrial Revolution by Jane Humphries
    2. Factory Lives: Four Nineteenth-Century Working-Class Autobiographies (Historical Sources) edited by James R. Simmons, Jr.
    3. Child Labour in Industrial England: Quotations and References on the Enforced Labour of Children in the Factories of Great Britain During the Nineteenth Century by R.V. Robinson

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