There are 215M child labourers worldwide – ILO
Today is World Day against Child Labour and it is being celebrated under the theme “Warning! Children in Hazardous work”.
Of the 215 million children around the world involved in labour activities, 115 million are in hazardous work with 74 million being boys and 41 million girls.
According to Sharon Patterson, National Project Officer, GOG/ILO/IPEC/EU Tackle Project, “Some of these children work in various areas in the agricultural sector, exposing them to toxic pesticides or fertilizers, carry dangerous blades and tools, carry heavy loads, fishing, forestry, while some work in industries such as small shops in mining and construction.”
She added that child labourers are also in the manufacturing industry, exposed to toxic solvents; perform strenuous tasks, which can affect their physiological growth and development.
World Day against Child Labour is observed out of the concern for hundreds of millions of children throughout the world who are engaged in work that deprives them of adequate education, health, leisure and basic freedoms, which violate their rights.
“Setting aside this day each year also provides an opportunity to gain further support of Government and the International Labour Organization (ILO) social partner, civil society and others, including schools, youth and women’s groups, faith based organizations as well as the media, in the campaign against child labour,” Patterson stated.
Hazardous work has received attention this year because the member states of the ILO have set 2016, to achieve the goal of eliminating the worst form of child labour which include hazardous work and addressing hazardous child labour brings the world closer to achieving this goal, she emphasized. The ILO and governments recognize that education is the most effective means of addressing the issue of child labour.
In 2008, the Protocol Agreement was signed for the commencement of a programme that would give attention to preventing child labour in Guyana, and support activities to keep children in school.
The International Labour Organization in 2002 launched the first World Day against Child Labour to highlight the special circumstances of such children.