Urgent calling

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World Day against Child Labour

"They began work at 5:30 and quit at 7 at night. Children six years old going home to lie on a straw pallet until time to resume work the next morning! I have seen the hair torn out of their heads by the machinery, their scalps torn off, and yet not a single tear was shed, while the poodle dogs were loved and caressed and carried to the seashore." ― Mary Harris Jones

 

"I am a citizen of this country I declare"

"You Should Fear If You Have Child Labor"

Towards the urgent elimination of hazardous child labour

"Children are more vulnerable to risk than adults

"Children are more vulnerable to risk than adults. Urgent action is needed to ensure no child under the age of 18 is in hazardous child labour," says ILO Director-General Guy Ryder on the occasion of World Day against Child Labour.

On World Day Against Child Labour 2018, the spotlight is on ending hazardous child labour. It is a priority in the wider ILO campaigns against child labour and for safe and healthy work for youth of legal working age – "Generation Safe & Healthy ."

About 73 million children are in hazardous work – almost half of the 152 million children aged 5 to 17 still in child labour. These children are toiling in mines and fields, factories and homes, exposed to pesticides and other toxic substances, carrying heavy loads or working long hours. Many suffer lifelong physical and psychological consequences. Their very lives can be at risk.

Weeks after warning that the government was treating environmental subsidies as a "political football", the German-owned RWE npower is pulling out of the £4bn Atlantic Array project in the Bristol Channel because the economics do not stack up.

No child under the age of 18 should perform hazardous work as stipulated in the ILO's Conventions on child labour, namely the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) . They require governments, in consultation with the social partners, to establish and enforce a national list of hazardous work prohibited for children. Ratification of these Conventions by 171 and 181 ILO member States respectively - close to universal ratification – reflects a commitment to end child labour in all its forms. It is time to step up action.

A new ILO report, Towards the Urgent Elimination of Hazardous Child Labour , finds that certain occupational hazards, including exposure to psychological stress and to commonly-used chemicals, are even more serious for children than previously thought.

Another key finding is that adolescence, as a period of physical maturation, may start earlier and last into the mid-twenties. Within this extended period of growth, children (and young adults), face a range of vulnerabilities that require responses in law and practice.

The report outlines the crucial and mutual link between education and health: lack of education increases the risk of negative health outcomes from work and conversely, quality education has positive and protective effects on health.

Although the overall number of children in hazardous work has decreased over the past years, progress has been limited to older children in hazardous work. Between 2012 and 2016, there was almost no reduction in the number of children aged 5 to 11 in child labour, and the number of these most vulnerable, youngest children in hazardous work actually increased. This is unacceptable.

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda reaffirms the urgency of eliminating the worst forms of child labour, which includes hazardous work, the need to promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, and sets the target of ending all forms of child labour by 2025. If we are to keep the solemn promises we have made to the world's children, we must, once and for all, "turn off the tap" and stop children from entering child labour in the first place many of whom, especially in agriculture, commonly start when they are six, seven or eight years old.

Join us on this World Day in committing to urgent action to combat hazardous child labour and to accelerate progress towards ending all child labour by 2025!

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Child slavery is a crime against humanity

"Although we have, in theory, abolished human slavery, recognized women's rights, and stopped child labor, we continue to enslave other species who, if we simply pay attention, show quite clearly that they experience parental love, pain, and the desire for freedom, just as we do." » Ingrid Newkirk

It's cruelty

Slavery an atrocious debasement of human nature

"Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils. The unhappy man who has been treated as a brute animal, too frequently sinks beneath the common standard of the human species. The galling chains, that bind his body, do also fetter his intellectual faculties, and impair the social affections of his heart… To instruct, to advise, to qualify those, who have been restored to freedom, for the exercise and enjoyment of civil liberty… and to procure for their children an education calculated for their future situation in life; these are the great outlines of the annexed plan, which we have adopted. - For the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, 1789]" ― Benjamin Franklin, Writings: The Autobiography / Poor Richard's Almanack / Bagatelles, Pamphlets, Essays & Letters

"Nobody can turn you into a slave unless you allow them. Nobody can make you afraid of anything, unless you allow them. Nobody can tell you to do something wrong, unless you allow them. God never created you to be a slave, man did. God never created division or set up any borders between brothers, man did. God never told you hurt or kill another, man did. So why is man your god, and not the Creator?" ― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

"Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery." ― William Shakespeare

"These are the woes of Slaves; They glare from the abyss; They cry, from unknown graves, "We are the Witnesses!" ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Poems on Slavery.

"Before child labor laws, there were businesses that treated their ten-year-old employees well. society didn't ban child labor because it's impossible to imagine children working in a good environment, but because when you give that much power to businesses over powerless individuals, it's corrupting. When we walk around thinking we have a greater right to eat an animal than the animal has a right to live without suffering, it's corrupting." ― Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals

"The golf links lie so near the mill That almost every day The laboring children can look out And see the men at play." Sarah N. Cleghorn

The World Day Against Child Labour is an International Labour Organization (ILO)-sanctioned holiday first launched in 2002 aiming to raise awareness and activism to prevent child labour. It was spurred by ratifications of ILO Convention No. 138[1] on the minimum age for employment and ILO Convention No. 182[2] on the worst forms of child labour. The World Day Against Child Labour, which is held every year on June 12, is intended to foster the worldwide movement against child labour in any of its forms.

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