The whole world chants the slogans and NGOs raise voices for discouraging the unjust practice of child labour and stress to form rules and legislate to offer them better futures. Every year, the statistics show the rise in the numbers and rising tides in such graphs slapping the champions of human rights and guardians of welfare states to do something substantial rather mere sloganeering.
Hundreds of millions of girls and boys throughout the world are engaged in work that deprives them of adequate education, health, leisure and basic freedoms, violating their rights. Of these children, more than half are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it. Each year on 12 June, the World Day brings together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them.
Around the world, large numbers of children are engaged in paid or unpaid domestic work in the home of a third party or employer. These children can be particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Their work is often hidden from the public eye, they may be isolated, and they may be working far away from their family home. Stories of the abuse of children in domestic work are all too common. On the 2013 World Day against Child Labour the ILO calls for:
- Legislative and policy reforms to ensure the elimination of child labour in domestic work and the provision of decent work conditions and appropriate protection to young workers in domestic work who have reached the legal working age.
- Ratify ILO Convention No. 189 concerning decent work for domestic workers and its implementation along with the ILO’s child labour Convention.
- Action to build the worldwide movement against child labour and to build the capacity of domestic workers organizations to address child labour.
12 June marks the adoption of the landmark International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 182, which addresses the need for action to tackle the worst forms of child labour. While celebrating progress made since the Convention’s adoption in 1999, the World Day highlights continuing challenges, such as the many children involved in domestic work.
People say that childhood is the best time of our lives. A time of love and laughter, of being pampered, of learning and discovering where our own particular strengths lie. Unfortunately, for a whole lot of Indian children, the harsh reality of childhood is quite different. These children help support their families, doing agricultural labour or working in homes or hazardous industries. They are commercial workers and bonded labourers. They constantly battle the storms of hunger and disease, are denied basic education and healthcare, and face an unrelenting struggle to lead a life of dignity. There should be concrete steps taken on each level to end this injustice and create opportunities for these starving children to offer better futures. There should be equality in all terms so that child labour like practices be discouraged and engage them in healthy societal work.
By A. Mehmood, WEEKLY PULSE MAGAZINE, May 05, 2014