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Taking action against child labour

Child labour is an abuse of children’s rights and it is a vast and urgent problem all around the world. As child labour is so widespread and so complex, the only way we can put a stop to it is to all act together, at the same time. Governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations,, law enforcement agencies, teachers, parents, community members, and especially children and young people themselves, must take a stance together, across the world, to demand the elimination of child labour!

Below are some suggestions on what you can do in your community, in your region, in your country to take action and get involved in the fight against child labour:

Inform yourselves. The first thing you can do is BE AWARE about the state of child labour in the world, and be informed about the abuses and injustices that go on. It affects you more than you would think. Then you are in a position to go and inform other people about child labour.
Recruit others into the campaign. In your region, establish contact with other young people in schools and community groups who could work with you in your action against child labour.
Sensitize others. Create a presentation pack to raise awareness on child labour using the resources material and photos available on the IPEC Information bangla choti resources section. 
Awareness-raising. You could organize an activity with friends in your community to raise awareness about child labour. This could be a play, concert or public debate and you could involve local musicians, actors and artists in your community. Remember to also involve parents and family members, who can be precious sources of knowledge and inspiration. Perhaps you could make posters or write to newspapers or magazines about the issue. What ideas can you come up with to raise awareness about child labour? The SCREAM education pack will give you lots of ideas.
Encourage more participation. Involve your wider community in events leading to the World Day Against Child Labour observed yearly on 12 June, or organise an SCREAM awareness week (see link below) to attract the greatest public attention possible. Distribute a press release informing and appealing to community groups and universities to join in, and establish contacts in the media for publicising such events.
Link up with others. You can combine your efforts with those of other people by using the 12 to 12 Community Portal on child labour. Check into the portal regularly and share your awareness-raising ideas and experiences with other young people from around the world. By Bangla choti sharing your actions you can inspire others to carry out a similar initiative and increase the impact of your efforts!
Activity to help imbed learning

Click here to download a checking activity in PDF. This is a quick game to see if you can distinguish which situations are regarded as child labour and which are not.

Word Bank

Click here to download a word bank in PDF. This is a glossary of many of the terms used on these web pages. 

Useful links and resources

SCREAM (Supporting Children's Rights through Education, the Arts and the Media)
SCREAM is an education and social mobilization initiative, to help educators worldwide promote understanding and awareness of child labour among young people.
World Day Against Child Labour 
Information on the 12 June World Day Against Child Labour and ways to get involved. This is a day to raise awareness of the situation of child labourers. Here you can also download activities that have been specifically developed for the World Day. In 2009, the activities are focused on the exploitation of girls in child labour and the anniversary of Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour.
12 to 12 Community Portal 
This is a community portal where different actors in the global community highlight their activities to fight child labour all year round (from 12 June one year, to the 12 June the next).
ILO Convention No. 182 
The original version of ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour.
ILO Convention No. 138 
The original version of ILO Convention No. 138 on the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment.
The pictures on this page come from the GenevaWorld Association exhibition “Children’s views of child labour”. Pictures on the top of this page were drawn by Nasser, 11 yrs, Oman; Antonio, 12 yrs, Luxembourg; Mahesh, 15 yrs, Nepal; Gerardo, 9 yrs, Panama

Raising awareness of the negative effects of child labour
Posted on May 25, 2010
India is the biggest child labour market in the world. 60 million children under 14 work, 10 million of whom in a state of servitude. To eradicate this plague durably, Humanium organizes awareness campaigns to inform parents of the negative consequences of child labour.

Poverty is the main reason for child labour. In underprivileged families, children have no choice but to work to provide for themselves and their relatives. They represent a docile, cheap labour force for many areas of activity such as agriculture, brickyards or even factories.

Working conditions are very hard and prevent them from having a real childhood. The numerous negative effects on their health hinder their both physical and intellectual development. They cannot go to school and consequently do not have the same chances and opportunities as all the other children. Those young people are destined to become illiterate adults who will not have the means to provide for their children, who will in turn have to work.

In partnership with the Committee on the Rights of the Child of Sankarapuram, Humanium raises awareness of the negative effects of child labour, through briefing sessions chiefly meant for mothers. It lays stress on the importance of education and the necessity of finding durable alternatives to child labour, thus contributing to putting an end to the vicious circle of poverty.

Thanks to Humanium’s campaigns, all the children in the village of Sankarapuram can now attend school and the village was declared free from child labour.
Child labour is the biggest obstacle in the way of universal education and development, Mayor I.P. Paul has said.

Addressing an awareness seminar on ‘Eradication of child labour' organised by the State Labour Department here on Saturday, he said the corporation would soon launch an intensive campaign against violation of child rights.

“Child labour denies equal opportunities, justice and a dignified childhood. It puts children's present and future in danger. Child labour is a shame on our society,” he said.

Society has a moral responsibility to create the physical and emotional infrastructure to bring the child labourers into the mainstream, he said.

Corporation Standing Committee chairman (Education) M. Usman said that by employing child labour the country was wasting its biggest asset, the budding young talents.

District Social Welfare Officer M. Mukundan noted that the State, which was declared child labour-free in 2006 itself, has become a favourite destination for child labour from other States.

“The prevalence of child labour is an evidence of a lack of political will and social concern. No country can solve the problem of poverty and illiteracy without eliminating child labour,” he said.

Speaking on ‘Social commitment on eradication of child labour', social activist Seena Rajagopal said child labour was one of the worst forms of human rights violations.

The prevalence of child labour pointed to utter disrespect towards the national Constitution and legislation. Abject poverty, illiteracy and lack of awareness were the major reasons that lead to child labour, she noted.

“Many of the child labourers are abused physically and sexually. Many a time, they are forced to beg and do illegal activities. Some are used for prostitution and pornography. These can upset the physical, mental or moral bangla choti well-being of a child,” she noted.

Childline district coordinator Laisa Paul alleged that the public often become mere spectators even when they had enough scope to react against social evils like child labour.

She urged the public to contact the toll-free number of Childline (1098) to report about any child in distress.

Regional Joint Labour Commissioner Vincent Alex underlined the need for people and voluntary organisations to join hands with departments concerned to eradicate child labour.

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