World commemorates day against child labour
June 12, 2019 | 3:03 PM
by Times News Service
File Photo

Geneva: Communities around the globe commemorated the World Day Against Child Labour on Wednesday.

In a statement marking the occasion, International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Guy Ryder called on governments to make a final push to end child labour around the world.

"How we treat our children is a reflection of our societies and values. The World Day Against Child Labour gives us an opportunity to take stock, define goals and recommit to action," he said.

"Our reflection this year – the ILO’s Centenary – is particularly significant because the ILO has been working for the abolition of child labour since its earliest days. Two of the first six Conventions the ILO adopted in its first year, 1919, addressed child labour. Its abolition is now the subject of one of the ILO’s fundamental principles, along with ending forced labour and work-related discrimination, and promoting freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Ryder added: "In 100 years we have made substantial progress, not least because of intense advocacy and national mobilisation backed by legislative and practical action. Between 2000 and 2016 alone, there was a 38 per cent decrease in child labour globally.

"In 100 years of working together for social justice the global community has achieved so much. The ILO is proud to have played a part in this progress. I urge Governments, workers and employers to come together and make a final push to end child labour and ensure that it does not reappear."

In Fiji, the World Day against Child Labour was commemorated in Suva under the theme ‘Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams'. Officiating at the event, Minister for Employment, Productivity, Industrial Relations, Youth and Sports Parveen Kumar Bala highlighted that the Fijian Government is prioritising education for all Fijian children as a sustainable and viable alternative to any form of child labour. He also stated that this year’s theme reflects the commitment of the Fijian Government for prompt action to stop child labour in all forms.

ILO Pacific office Director, Donglin Li, who attended the event in Suva, Fiji, said “The ILO works closely with its government and employers’ and workers’ organisations, as well as with other international organizations, civil society and the media to support the campaign of eliminating child labour.”

Li added:“We need to urgently accelerate the pace of progress. But to do this - and also meet Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which calls for the end of child labour by 2025 – more coherent action is required, ensuring the availability of quality education, social protection for all, and decent work for parents.”

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news