12 June 2013 — Today marks the adoption of the landmark International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 182, which addresses the need for action to tackle the worst forms of child labour. While celebrating progress made since the Convention’s adoption in 1999, the World Day highlights continuing challenges, such as the many children involved in domestic work.
The ILO estimates that some 218 million children are trapped in child labour. Many of these children work long hours, often in dangerous conditions. Child labour is closely associated with poverty and denies children their right to education. Many poor families are unable to afford school fees or other school costs. The family may depend on the contribution that a working child makes to the household’s income, and place more importance on work than on education. When a family has to make a choice between sending either a boy or girl to school, it is often the girl who loses out.
This year the World Day Against Child Labour will provide a spotlight on children engaged in domestic work. Many children around the world work (with or without pay) in the homes of employers and other third parties. They are often hidden from public view, may be working far from home, and are at risk of abuse or exploitation. On this Day, the International Labour Organization (ILO) calls for reforms to ensure the elimination of child labour in domestic work, the provision of decent work conditions and appropriate protection to young workers in domestic work who have reached the legal working age, and for action to strengthen the worldwide movement against child labour.
Sources: ILO, United Nations Department of Public Information