On 12th June, the International Labour Organization (ILO) invites everyone to celebrate the World Day against Child Labour. The ILO’s most recent global estimate is that out of 250 million working children, 115 million children are involved in hazardous work. This is work that by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm children’s health, safety or morals. Children working in many different industries and occupations can be exposed to such risks and the problem is global, affecting industrialised as well as developing countries.
Therefore, on this World Day against Child Labour, ILO calls for:
- New urgency in identifying and tackling hazardous child labour, as an important means to make progress on the global goal of eliminating the worst forms of child labour;
- Recognising that hazardous work is part of the larger child labour problem, scaling up global, national and local level efforts against all forms of child labour through education, social protection and strategies to promote decent and productive work for youth and adults;
- Building strong tripartite action on the issue of the hazardous work of children, using international standards and the experience of employers’ and workers’ organizations in the area of safety and health.
Today, 10th June 2011, Mr. Luc Panissod, Secretary General of World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) was invited to an event, taking place in Geneva at “Place des Nations”, in front of the United Nations, to celebrate this 9th edition of World Day against Child Labour together with several hundred children.
At this occasion, a young boy asked Mr. Panissod the following question:
“We know that the Scouts are known worldwide for their commitment to promote social justice. Could you explain to us how the Scout Movement contributes to the fight against Child Labour?”
Mr. Panissod answered that the ILO and WOSM share a common commitment to pursuing social justice and peace, empowering young people through human rights-based educational programmes and promoting the social dimension of globalization. In recent years, ILO and WOSM’s joint efforts have encouraged many young people to become advocates to defend children’s rights and to campaign to end child labour. National Scout Organizations have developed programmes and flexible activities that can be attended by working children.
In April 2011, WOSM and ILO-IPEC signed a joint circular (available here), encouraging its member and field offices to join forces in organising events to further raise awareness on these issues. This circular also contains links to some of the resources that these Organizations have developed on these issues.
Picture 1: © International Labour Organization - ILO