World Day Against Child Labour 2020: A Long Way To Go

by GoNews Desk 3 years ago Views 4235

June 12 is World Day Against Child Labour.

The International Labour Organization defines child labour as "work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development”.

According to the ILO, child labour refers to work that:

is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and

interferes with their schooling by:

depriving them of the opportunity to attend school;

obliging them to leave school prematurely; or

requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.

There are an estimated 152 million children in child labour worldwide, 72 million of which are in hazardous work. These children are now at even greater risk of facing circumstances that are even more difficult and working longer hours.

In India, according to the ILO, there are close to 13 million child labourers.

UNICEF and Norges Bank Investment Management have together also released guidance to help clothing and footwear companies better address children’s rights in their global supply chains, involving leading apparel and footwear companies, including Adidas, H&M and VF Corporation.

“As the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic threaten the livelihoods of millions of workers in global supply chains, children’s rights must be at the heart of business action,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Charlotte Petri Gornitzka. “We have an opportunity to re-imagine the post-COVID world and build a better garment and footwear sector that supports the right of every child.”

The Mines Of Madagascar 

The guidance tool provides practical steps for companies to embed children’s rights in their sustainability strategies and approaches. It calls on companies to gather evidence on how children are impacted; identify bottlenecks; and take proactive steps to integrate children’s rights into their supply chain management systems. It also includes specific metrics, which support the measurement of and reporting on children’s rights outcomes over time.

More specifically, the guidance calls on companies to:

  • Assess child rights risks and business preparedness to address them;
  • Integrate child rights into policies and management systems;
  • Get internal buy-in and engage key decision-makers;
  • Strengthen supplier capacity to address child rights and root causes;
  • Monitor and measure outcomes and progress;
  • Engage stakeholders, workers and implement grievance processes;
  • Report on outcomes and progress;
  • Collaborate and invest in multi-stakeholder initiatives;
  • Support governments and advocate for children’s rights.

Meanwhile, a joint ILO-UNICEF paper on the impact of COVID-19 on child labour will be released today which looks at some of the main channels through which the current pandemic is likely to affect progress towards the eradication of child labour.

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