World Day Against Child Labor, Tomorrow
World Day Against Child Labor will be celebrated tomorrow. This year the focus is on the impact of conflicts and disasters on child labor. Globally more than 1.5 billion people live in countries that are affected by violence and fragility. There are also some 200 million people affected by disasters each year. A major part of the 168 million children engaged in child labor live in areas affected by conflict and disaster. Conflicts and disasters have a devastating impact on people’s lives. They kill, maim, force people to flee their homes, destroy livelihoods, push people into poverty and starvation and trap people in situations where their basic human rights are violated.
Child Labor is a Serious Problem
The year 2025 is the target date the world strives to achieve the elimination of child labor. However, until then we have a long way to go. For example, many of the children are in Africa, particularly in the Congo, where mining by children is rampant. UNICEF reports that about 40,000 children work in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some of the children work 24 hour shifts underground. Their pay? Most of them earn less than $2 a day. Many receive half of that amount. Faustin Adeye, of Catholic Charities, reported that some of the conditions in the cobalt minds were so bad that at times the children are buried alive when the mines cave in. Some of the children are as young as seven years. Many of the children work without any protective clothing.
The International Labor Organization launched the International Day Against Child Labor in 2002. It is held every year on June 12. The goal is to draw attention to the plight. There are some major goals to achieve. Some of these include reducing poverty, social protection and education, the urgency to tackle the worst forms of child labor and building political and popular commitment to tackling child labor.