United Nations Launches World Day Against Child Labour Action Week
Suva (ILO News) – In 2002, the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the first World Day Against Child Labour as a way to highlight the plight of working children. Observed on June 12th, the day is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour. This year’s World Day Against Child Labour focuses on action taken for the 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. It is the first World Day since the universal ratification of the ILO’s Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, and takes place at a time when the COVID-19 crisis threatens to reverse years of progress in tackling the problem.
Child Labour is work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity. It harms children mentally, physically, socially, and morally. It interferes with their schooling, preventing them from attending or concentrating. It may involve them being enslaved, separated from their families, and exposed to serious hazards and illnesses.
On June 10th, the ILO and UNICEF released new global estimates and trends on child labour (2016-2020). The report includes an assessment of how the pace of progress towards ending child labour is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented economic crisis that has accompanied it.
For this year’s World Day, the ILO Pacific office is convening a “Week of Action” beginning on 10 June 2021. On June 14 and16, representatives from the Fiji Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Fiji Trade Union Congress, Fiji Police Force, Fiji Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, Save the Children Fiji, Fiji National University, Homes of Hope, Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, Pacific Island Council of Trade Unions, and Fiji National University will join ILO across a series of virtual events to discuss concrete implementation plans towards reducing child labour in Fiji.
Civil society partners, faith-based organizations, the private sector, educators, media and members of the public are encouraged to attend the two-day virtual events. Sessions will include, Combatting Child Labour through Labour Inspection; Partner progress updates on the global commitment to ‘Act Now To End Child Labour’; and interventions from the Women Entrepreneurs Business Council, Young Entrepreneurs Council as well as the Women’s and Youth Wings of the Fiji Trade Union Congress.
More details can be found on the ILO Pacific social media platforms, including instructions on how to join the online sessions and newly-released action pledge videos from ILO’s partners in Fiji.
In 2021, the international community stands at a midway point - four years on from the last Global Conference on Child Labour in Argentina, and four years to go to achieve the SDG target 8.7 set to end child labour by 2025. This year’s World Day theme – Act now: end child labour and the action taken throughout the year, will contribute to the next milestone, the Global Conference on Child Labour in 2022, hosted by the Government of South Africa.
About the ILO:
The only tripartite United Nations agency, since 1919 the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States , to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men. [Twitter: @IloPasifika. Facebook: @IloPacific]