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End Child Labour Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Timmy, Nigeria Dec 16, 2003
Child & Youth Rights , Labour Rights   Opinions


Imagine that you are a child. You are eight years old and work ten hours a day at a brick kiln. Because you are forced to work you cannot go to school. Without an education, you’ll be trapped in a life of poverty. You then ultimately lose your childhood and your future.

“Child labour” refers to work that is dangerous or harmful to a child’s health and development. Worldwide, an estimated 250 million children work as child labourers. Child labour is found everywhere, but especially in developing countries where it is part of the cycle of poverty. Bonded labour, virtual slavery chained by constant family debt, is common in South Asia. Child servants are hidden and abused in the homes of the rich in Latin America and millions of children work long hours on plantations in Africa, or in factories throughout the world.

Child labourers lose their health, their lives, and at the very least, their precious childhood meant for playing, making friends, and learning. Child labour is illegal! International treaties state clearly that child labour in its many forms is illegal, and spell out agreed upon solutions. Article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, ratified by 191 countries states that every child (anyone under 18), “has the right to be protected from work that threatens his or her health, education or development.” The CRC also states that every child has a right to an education and calls on all governments to “make primary education compulsory and available free to all.”

The International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour 1999, ratified by 136 countries prohibits the most extreme forms of child labour that involve children being enslaved; held in bondage; used as prostitutes, in pornography or to commit crimes; or in other work that is likely to harm their health, safety or morals. ILO Convention 138 on the Minimum Age at Work 1973, ratified by 123 countries sets age limits for different types of work. By ratifying these treaties, governments have agreed to provide the financial resources and develop and implement National Action Plans to bring their national legislation in line with the legally binding obligations of the Conventions.

Despite all these good words and intentions, 250 million children still go to work each day, and not to school. Governments will only develop the political will to eradicate child labour when they hear loudly, clearly and persistently from their citizens.
Citizens everywhere must press their governments to keep the promises they’ve made to the world’s children. Contact your representatives in your national parliament or congress. Urge them to do all they can to see that every nation, including your own, ratifies and fully implements the Child Labour Treaties. Ask them to see that your government joins an international effort to get all donor countries to increase their development assistance to meet or exceed the UN target of 0.7% of their Gross National Income. Only five countries, Denmark, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, have met this goal.

Ask them to appeal to your government to join the 20/20 Initiative which calls on donor countries to designate 20% of their development assistance, and developing countries 20% of their national budget, for quality basic social services. Governments must see that these funds help give every child a quality education while protecting them from child labour.



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Its Terrible
Damilare T.A Onajole | Dec 19th, 2003
Its terrible for u to remind me of what I have gone thru in my younger days. I engaged in child labour to send my self to school, and I still do till today. Sometimes its not always the fault of our parents. I lost my mum at tha age of 6. My dad had three wives, there was bully and all that, so I had to scale thru cos I knew what I wanted. I aim at helping children engaging in Child labout in futre, so God Help me!

its dangerous
Gopi krishna Bhattarai | Feb 20th, 2004
it is hot issue that u write . in nepal i am seeing daily that childre r working in hotel. imagine that how they do their work in such cold wher the temperature is 1 deg. i have keen desire to do work in this fild .

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