Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Children's rights and social justice? Let's end Child Labour and Slavery

World Day Against Child Labour

NO to child labour – YES to quality education!

"120 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are involved in child labour, with boys and girls in this age group almost equally affected."

United Nations

Today is World Day Against Child LabourJune 12th is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labourto highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) released World Report on Child Labour 2015: Paving the way to decent work for young people.

The report came two days ahead of World Day Against Child Labor, June 12.

More than 168 million children are trapped in child labour. More than half of them, 85 million, are in hazardous work. This persistence of child labour is rooted in poverty and lack of decent work for adults, lack of social protection, and a failure to ensure that all children are attending school through to the legal minimum age for admission to employment.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the first World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to highlight the plight of these children. 

Child labor includes children who are forced to take part in armed conflict, such as child soldiers and girls taken as "wives" for soldiers and militia members.

According to Anti-Slavery International
, there are around 300,000 child soldiers involved in over 30 areas of conflict around the world.

Child labor among girls fell by 40 percent since 2000, compared with 25 percent for boys.

26% of all forced labourers are children, the majority found in Asia and the Pacific, and Africa, but every country and region of the world is affected by child slavery.

Hundreds of millions of young people, girls and boys throughout the world, are engaged in work that deprives them of "adequate education, health, leisure and basic freedoms", violating their rights. 

Among these children more than half is 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.

Social protection is both a human right and makes sound economic and social sense. Social protection enables access to education, health care and nutrition and plays a critical role in the fight against child labour.

The World Day Against Child Labour this year will focus particularly on the importance of quality education as a key step in tackling child labour. 

It is very timely to do so, as in 2015 the international community will be reviewing reasons for the failure to reach development targets on education and will be setting new goals and strategies.

On this year’s World Day Against Child Labour ILO call for:

  • free, compulsory and quality education for all children at least to the minimum age for admission to employment and action to reach those presently in child labour;

  • new efforts to ensure that national policies on child labour and education are consistent and effective;

  • policies that ensure access to quality education and investment in the teaching profession.

credits: FAO


"Children whose education is denied or impeded by child labor enter adolescence much less likely to have the competencies and skills needed for securing decent work, and much more likely to be vulnerable to joblessness or low paid, or insecure work in hazardous conditions. Their vulnerability is frequently exacerbated by related factors such as health problems stemming from their premature involvement in work. The poor job prospects of former child laborers can continue into adulthood, making it more likely that their work experience as adults will be characterized by low earnings, insecurity, and unemployment spells," 


Some days ago, I wrote about Enfants victimes d'exclusion sociale. Reading the numbers of UNICEF Report in France, realized once more how important is to draw attention to situations such as children and young adolescents boys and girls who live far from school education, in real conditions against their human rights.

Schools and other educational institutions make a special effort to inform children of their rights according to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Teachers and students worldwide are speaking out against child labour in the classroom and taking action to raise further awareness of this issue out school. 

They are spreading knowledge among their peers, acting as a voice for those children whose rights are not respected and calling on decision-makers to act urgently to protect children in danger. 

Teachers have a crucial role on the alert of poverty or child labour cases among their students.

Numerous tools and initiatives exist to inspire and motivate students of all ages, from primary school through to university, on the subject of child labour.

Activities :

Display the video above in the classroom and some photos on the theme and invite the students to talk about what they are watching;

Ask students to search on child labour in your own country, comparing with other countries;

  • Choose a wall in the classroom or another space in the school - school library is a good place - where students in a cross-curricular can can display their depictions of child labour through works of art, photos, storytelling;
  • Organize an exhibition of photos or drawings on child labour in your classroom, school library, other spaces at school;
  • Ask students to set up information stands on the internet, social media (radio, television) or social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) to raise school awareness on the issue;
  • Prepare a play to perform at the school library. Invite parents, teachers, the maire and students from another school;
  • Present a film on this theme in the classroom or at the school library, and invite teachers, parents, and other students to a round table discussion;
  • Students can prepare brochures, flyers to hand out to other students, teachers, school and community;
  • Make a film joining authentic documents (photos) and texts written by the students and publish it on YouTube;

Other resources:

On the website ILO you will have some good material and you can find activities from all around the world.

Some thoughts:

Of course this event is not for a day. As a teacher you will prepare the activity for 3-4 days, explaining your students the symbology of special days.

And what about the teacher role? We will facilitate the activities in the classroom. Teachers will organize the activities for 3-4 days and ask the collaboration of the students.

We will answer to questions, guide students with special needs, work with small groups, guiding the learning of the class and each student individually.
Since the role of the teacher has changed, more as a tutor or facilitator than a deliverer of content, you and I have the privilege of observe how students interact among classmates.

As we have time to roam around the class, we notice the students are developing their own collaborative work.  Students are helping each other learn instead of relying on the teacher as the sole disseminator of knowledge. 
It is magical to observe that ! And at the end you will have some creative activities all them elaborated by the students.

When we respect our students in this way, they usually meet expectations. They realize - it takes time - that we are there to guide them in their learning instead of being a classical educator.

It is important they are able to handle devices : tablets, smartphones, other.

Our students will participate actively in the World Day Against Child Labour  for sure, and they will become engaged young citizens.

They will understand how lucky they are to come to school every day. 

"Children are not little adults," (...) "Hazardous work cannot be acceptable for children because of basic biology… they are physically and mentally different."


I believe NO child should be forced to work and striped of their childhood! Join the call to fight child labour with quality education.



update 24.06.2024
Copyright © 2015G-Souto'sBlog,®

Creative Commons License

No comments:

Post a Comment