World Day against Child Labour is celebrated every year on June 12 with the aim to promote activism to prevent and eradicate the child labour. The International Labour Organization (ILO), a United Nations body, launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to bring attention to the problem of child labour and consolidate efforts in the fight against it.

Theme of World Day against Child Labour 2021:

The year 2021 has been declared as the international year for the elimination of child labour and the theme for this year is “Act now: end child labour!”

For this year’s World Day, the ILO has called on stakeholders from across the world to choose a specific action that contributes to ending child labour and which can be realized by December 2021.

Why is it important?

Children are the backbone of any nation. The more educated and informed they are, the faster & stronger a nation would be. However, when they are forced into labour, their mental and physical growth is impeded. The child is unable to go to school and is deprived of his/her right to education. This is only one of the many fundamental rights that get violated when a child is forced to work.

 The ILO’s World Day against Child Labor primarily focuses on the right to education for all children around the world, regardless of their economic condition, race, or caste. All children should be able to attend school & it’s important to raise more awareness about this issue and strive to make India a place where child labour is never a necessary evil.

“Child labour rises to 160 million”- International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF

According to a report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF, the number of children in child labour has risen to 160 million worldwide which is a spike of 8.4 million children in the last four years & with millions more at risk due to the impacts of COVID-19.

The report warns that globally, nine million additional children are at risk of being pushed into child labour by the end of 2022 as a result of the pandemic. A simulation model shows this number could rise to 46 million if they don’t have access to critical social protection coverage.

These findings are part of a report by ILO “Child Labour: Global Estimates 2020: Trends and the Road Forward” released ahead of World Day against Child Labor. The report warns that progress to curb child labour stalled for the first time in twenty years, reversing the previous downward trend that saw child labour fall by ninety-four million between 2000 to 2016.

The report suggests as per Census 2011, the total child population in India in the age group 5-14 years is 259.6 million with over 10 million working, either as ‘main worker’ or ‘marginal worker’.

ILO and UNICEF called for adequate social protection for children including universal child benefits, increased spending on quality education, and getting them back to school.

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