World Day Against Child Labour : June 12 Themes, Significance, Legal Provisions & Facts

June 12 is observed every year as World Day Against Child Labour. The day was initiated by International Labour organisation in 2002 to spread awareness about the Global extent of child labour and necessary actions and efforts needed to eliminate it.


Why is the Day Against Child Labour Observed?

The day is observed to raise awareness to rescue children from any kind of forced labourer. As of June 2021 data, around 160 millions of children are engaged in child labourer worldwide. While talking about India, according to the 2011 census around 10.1 million children are being exploited in a variety of industries like in brick kilns, carpet weaving, Domestic Services, Mining , Agriculture etc. There threats like sexual exploitation and child pornography are also involved.

World Day Against Child Labour

It's true that children around the world are engaged in paid and unpaid forms of work which are not harmful to them. But child labour is a situation which involves hazardous activities that may severely affect their physical, mental, social and educational development. So the day is one of the efforts of ILO, to advocate the right to education and dignified life for a children which is also a dimension of achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Theme of World Day Against Child Labour

The theme of year 2022 is : "Universal social protection to End Child Labour"
As child Labour is as a result of many socio-economic factored such as poverty, lack of education, lack of resources, migrations and emergencies and lack of decent work opportunities. These are some consequences of social inequality reinforced by discrimination.

So the theme emphasises on Government social protection systems to fight poverty and vulnerability. Social protection is an essential human right as well as a potential policy tools to prevent families from resorting to Child Labour in times of crisis.

Definition and Types of Child Labour

Before the classification of the types of child Labour it is important to know its definition. According to International Labour Organisation, "Child Labour refers to work that deprives children (under 18) of the childhood there potential and their dignity and that is harmful to their physical or mental development or interferes with their schooling by;

  • Depriving them of the opportunity to attend school.
  • Obliging them to leave school prematurely.
  • Requiring them to attempt to combine School attendance with excessively long heavy work.

Now the Child Labour is of 6 types.

Children in Armed Conflict: Here children are engaged in war-like activities for quenching the thirst of politically strong heads.
Slavery: This is one of the worst kind of physical and emotional form of labour that takes away children's right to make decisions for themselves.
Child Trafficking: Here most of the children are imposed to forced sexual activities to make money out of their misery.
Illegal Sectors labour: When they are engaged in illegal activities like drug peddling or smuggling of illegal substances.
Debt Bondage: Here the child is borrowed in exchange of money, given to his parents if they are not capable of returning it on time.
Forced Labour: if a child is forced to work in order to deploy cheap labour then it comes under the forced Labour.

Legal Provisions For Child Labour

Certainly there are some Provisions and laws made to Fight and reduce the increasing number of child laborers in our Country but as a citizen it's our first and foremost duty to protect the future of our country from this evil. Some efforts like spreading awareness, supporting NGOs working with children and donating for a good cause can be taken by us to fulfil the gist of the Theme of 2022 which favours Universal Social Protection. Let's have a look of some legal Protections against child Labour in India;

  • Any kind of forced labour is prohibited under Article 23 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Article 24 restricts any child under 14 years from performing any hazardous work.
  • According to Article 39; the health and strengths of workers, men and women and the tender age of children should not be abused.
  • While Child Labour Act, 1986 prohibits children (under the age of 14) to work in hazardous industries and processes.
  • Some Government schemes such as MANREGA 2005, The Right to Education act 2009 and the MidDay Meal Scheme 1995 are facilitating rural families both the employment as well as education to their children.
  • Moreover with the ratification International Labour Organization Convention Nos. 138 and 182 in 2017, GoI is now committed to eradicate the child labour.

Some Facts on Child Labour

Here We are presenting some global Facts and statistics about child Labour that you must be aware of.

  • Africa ranks at number 1 with 72 million of children engaged in child labour, followed by Asia and Pacific with 62 million, America with 11 million, Europe and Central Asia 6 million and Arab states 1 million.
  • At the beginning of 2020, 1 in 10 children ages 5 and over were involved in child Labour worldwide.
  • Globally, National expenditure on social Protection for children amounts to only 1.1% of GDP.
  • Around 0.4% of GDP is spent on social Protection for children in Africa.
  • Agriculture sector accounts for 70% of child labour followed by service sector 20% and industries 10%.
  • The probability of child labour in rural areas is higher than in urban areas.
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