Recognizing the issue of child labour as a trade union issue for many years now, the BWI and its affiliates continue to implement their successful multi-pronged strategy in India, Nepal and Bangladesh pulling out children from work and bringing them under mainstream schooling.
Recent ILO estimates indicate that close to 120 million children are engaged in child labour worldwide with over half of these children employed in hazardous industries. This year’s ILO theme on the World Day Against Child Labour is very apt - ‘NO to Child Labour, YES to Quality Education’ emphasizing the significant role of quality education in addressing the issue of child labour. "Governments, employers and unions should work together for child labour free worksites worldwide backed by decent work for adults and decent education for children. The problem of child labour cannot be viewed in isolation, it needs to be viewed from a socio-economic perspective necessitating responsible actions from all stakeholders to realize the vision of a child labour free world. Presence of child labour suppresses adult wages and also reduces bargaining power of adults thus creating a vicious cycle of poverty. ” adds Ambet Yuson.
In South Asia, the BWI affiliates run a total of 27 need-based schools for erstwhile child labourers in India, Nepal and Bangladesh targeting brick kiln, stone quarry and minor forestry sectors. The unions strive to provide mainstream education to children in close collaboration with the Governments and campaign for quality education and also better wages, working conditions and social protection for adult workers. On the World Day Against Child Labour, the BWI calls upon its affiliates, leaders and members globally to:
Urge the Government(s) worldwide for a legislative framework that bans use of child labour in all forms of processes and occupations and ensure right to quality education for all;
Advocate and campaign on the issue of child labour in partnership with different stakeholders to create mass awareness on Decent Education for Children and Decent Work for Adults and
Lobby with respective national governments to ratify ILO conventions on child labour and reflect in their national policies and programs
To mark this day, unions shall be carrying out rallies, demonstrations and media interactions. Additionally, like last years, this year too – the Netherlands chapter of Child Learn, CL.NL to support children’s education in India is organising a marathon on 14 June 2015 in Schimmert Netherlands that attracts adults and children from all age groups