The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has designated 12 June as World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) to raise awareness on the perils of child labour and call for worldwide efforts to curb this problem that alarmingly stands at 152 million child labourers across the globe. This year’s them is “Children shouldn’t work in fields but on dreams.”
This year also marks hundredth year of establishment of the ILO that since its inception has protection of children embedded in its Constitution. The BWI and its affiliates every year, in particular South Asia - carry out activities to mark the WDACL. This year, the BWI Affiliates in India (HKMP, Bihar State; AHBWU & RKNMS, Rajasthan State; UPGMS, Uttar Pradesh State; BMS, Punjab State and IBCWWF & OKKS in Odisha State) and Nepal (CUPPEC, CAWUN & ANCWU) organized child rights rallies, local meetings and also participated in government organized events to mark the day. These events were covered both in the print and visual media.
Commenting on WDACL, the BWI General Secretary, Ambet Yuson remarked, “No child should be forced to work. A child should have the right to go to school, play in the fields, and dream for a bright future. For more than two decades, the BWI has been actively working to eradicate child labour globally. We will continue to do by working with all stakeholders including the ILO, employers, and governments to safeguard the rights of all children and protect them from child labour and other violations of fundamental human rights.”
The BWI and its affiliates have been part of the ILO’s global efforts to end this problem. In the South Asia region that is home to the largest number of child labourers in the world, the BWI has been carrying out multi-pronged ground-level interventions. These interventions and partnerships have resulted in policy-level changes and were also instrumental in pulling out more than 22,000 children out of the workforce to put them in schools; signed nearly 2000 individual worksite agreements with a clause on “no use of child labour” and declared over 100 villages as “Child Labour Free”.
The BWI shall continue to partner the ILO and also Unions worldwide to end the problem of child labour in all forms by 2025 in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7.