Africa, People, Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific

Five ways we can help to eliminate child labour

Responsible Business | Jun 12, 2018


“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela

The World Day Against Child Labour, which is held every year on June 12, is intended to foster the worldwide movement against child labour in all of its forms. This year’s theme looks to shine a spotlight on the global need to improve the safety and health of young workers and end child labour.

Facts about Child Labour:

Below you will find 5 ways we can help eradicate child labour in all its forms:

1. Stakeholders must take responsibility

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Children do not work because they want to, and parents would ideally much rather see their children receive an education. Child labour is socially accepted when people see no other option but to send their children to work. Governments must abide by internationally accepted agreements, companies must employ adults instead of children and – importantly – consumers must not buy goods produced by child labour.

2. Increased access to education

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Removing children from child labour does not mean that they will automatically attend school. Schooling can be expensive, or of very poor quality, and so some parents think sending their children to work is the obvious alternative. Both large and smaller businesses can make their contribution by raising awareness about the importance of education in their workplaces, communities, industries or sectors.

3. Provide support for children

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Children are also at greater health and safety risk in the workplace for a number of reasons:

  • Lack work experience – children are less able to make informed judgments.
  • Want to perform well – children are willing to go the “extra mile” without realising the risks.
  • Learn unsafe health and safety behaviour from adults.
  • Might not be carefully trained and supervised.

4. Improve economic growth

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As many as 7.8 million Indian children are forced to earn a livelihood even if they also attend school. Many of these children drift away from the path of education completely and get end up in child labour. This means a country has a lack of formally educated adults who can contribute to the process of nation-building and to the country’s economic growth.

5. Engage with the Sustainable Development Goals

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We know that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015, will only succeed if we work towards the goals together. The sub-Saharan African region is among those affected by situations of extreme poverty, state fragility and crisis, and by natural disasters and population displacements associated with global climate change, which in turn are known to heighten the risk of child labour.


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