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World Day Against Child Labour

In 2002, the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour as a way to draw attention to those children who are engaged in work that deprives them of their rights. Child labor is a complex, global issue, where cultural factors often govern the roles of children and, therefore, participation by children in domestic or income-generating labor varies greatly according to context. However, many of the children who work outside the home are deprived of adequate education, good health, and other basic freedoms. Many of these children work in dangerous environments and are exposed to harmful chemicals or illicit activities. Some children work in prostitution or slavery, or as child soldiers. It is crucial that governments, civil society, and social partners around the world work to stop harmful forms of child labor in their countries.

The most recent global estimates suggest some 120 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are involved in child labour. 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. This year's World Day Against Child Labour focus is on the importance of quality education to combat forced child labour. Find advocacy resources and ways to get involved here. Read the 2015 World Report on Child Labor from the International Labour Organization here.

World Day Against Child Labour 2015 calls 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.

Learn more about World Day Against Child Labour here.