World Day Against Child Labour on June 12 is of immense significance amid a prolonged period of coronavirus pandemic. 2021World Day Against Child Labour marks a “Week of Action” that began on June 10. “Child labour reinforces intergenerational poverty, threatens national economies and undercuts rights guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” said the ILO (International Labour Organization). “The number of children in child labour has risen to 160 million worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years” due to the impacts of COVID-19, a report ahead of World Day Against Child Labour said.
Theme of 2021 World Day Against Child Labour
Act now: end child labour – is the theme of this year’s World Day Against Child Labour. This is the first time in nearly two decades, the world has seen an increase in child labour and millions more are vulnerable due to pandemic situation. According to a report released by the ILO and UNICEF on global trends and estimates, the progress to end child labour has stalled reversing the downward trend that saw it fall by 94 million between 2000 and 2016.
Significance of World Day Against Child Labour 2021
Child labour is a fallout of many social and economic factors such as poverty, social norms condoning it, lack of decent work opportunities for adults and adolescents, migration, and emergencies, says the ILO. This leads to social inequities and discrimination. According to experts, any effective action against child labour must recognize and address the range of physical and emotional harm that children face due to poverty, alienation and migration.
There is a significant rise in the number of children between five and 11 in child labour and they now account for over half of the total global figure. The number of children between five and 17 exposed to hazardous work has risen by 6.5 million to 79 million since 2016, according to the ILO report.