Child Labour Day

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World Day Against Child Labour

Child Labour is one of the dark social issues that are prevalent in our society. At a tender age when one is supposed to expand their learning horizons, the burden of labour clouds the aspirations of some children. As a community, we need to raise a voice against social evils for those who cannot or do not have the means to. World Day Against Child Labour is one of the significant international days observed by several countries around the globe to spread awareness against child labour. Read on to find out more about the Child Labour Day.

World Day Against Child Labour 

Credit: Hindustan Times

The World Day Against Child Labour or Child Labour Day was launched by the International Labour Organization in 2002. The day is observed on June 12 every year in almost 100 countries. It aims to raise awareness and foster activism on the plight of child labourers and what we can do to eradicate this malpractice. Child Labour Day also serves as an opportunity for people to develop efficient mechanisms to address issues that lead to child labour.

International Labour Organization (ILO) reports about 152 million children globally are engaged in child labour. Out of which, 72 million children are involved in hazardous work.

What is Child Labour? 

Child Labour is often described as work that deprives children of their childhood, dignity and potential. It refers to labour that is harmful to the physical and mental development of children. Child labour:

  • Mentally, socially, physically or morally detrimental to children and/or
  • Poses hindrances to their schooling by depriving them of the chance to attend school; requiring them to drop out of school prematurely; or compelling them to attempt to combine both school attendance and excessively long and heavy work.
  • Whether some “work” can be termed “child labour” depends on the age, the type and hours of work, the working conditions and the laws defined by individual countries. In India, the child labour (prohibition and regulation) Act 1986 defines a “Child” as defined as a person who has not turned 14. 


Despite economic growth in India, the nation faces a poverty problem. More than a third of the country’s population is below the poverty line. Due to poor living standards, low levels of income, and a lack of employment opportunities and poor job diversity, impoverished families send their children to work instead of educating them to contribute to the family’s additional income required to sustain. 

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man

Rabindranath Tagore

Prevention of Child Labour 

Children worldwide are routinely engaged in paid and unpaid forms of work that are not harmful to them. More than one out of four children (ages 5 to 17) are involved in labour considered dangerous to them in the least developed countries.

Among the various industries where child labour is observed, children are exploited for these kinds of work: 

  • Factories of hazardous substances, in carpet industries, clothing, glass and bricks, etc.
  • Agriculture
  • Mining and quarrying
  • Domestic Help
  • Flesh Trade
Credit: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

There are multiple legislations in place to curb the issue of child labour in India. Some of the acts are listed below: 

  • The Factories Act of 1948 
  • The Mines Act of 1952
  • The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986
  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) of Children Act, 2000
  • The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009
  • Part 3 of Indian Constitution: Fundamental Rights Article 24

Several governments, not-for-profit organisations and business firms undertake initiatives globally, round the year, to spread awareness and contribute towards eradicating child labour. The World Day Against Child Labour or Child Labour Day recognises these year-round efforts. 

Also Read: Essay on Child Labour


The United Nations body, International Labour Organization (ILO), regulates the world of work. It launched the World Day Against Child Labour or Child Labour Day to bring attention to and combat child labour. The day draws together governments, local authorities, workers and employers organisations to collectively point out the child labour issue and establish the guidelines to aid child labourers.

World Day of Child Labour 2021

This year’s World Day Against Child Labour centres on action taken for the 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. This Child Labour Day is significant as it occurs when the COVID-19 crisis threatens to reverse years of progress in tackling the menace.

The June report by ILO and UNICEF will include assessing how the movement towards ending child labour is expected to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented economic crisis.

Credit: testbook

For this World Day Against Child Labour, a “Week of Action” will be launched around June 12, commencing with the new global estimates on child labour. Throughout this week, the activities carried out will be an opportunity for partners to showcase progress in upholding their “2021 Action Pledges.” 

On World Day against Child Labour 2021, it would be four years from the last Global Conference on Child Labour in Argentina and another four years to achieve the SDG target of 8.7 to stop child labour by 2025. Child Labour Day 2021, and the actions in the year, will be discussed in the Global Conference on Child Labour in 2022, to be held at the Government of South Africa.

Kids deserve to be happy, healthy and safe.

Past Year’s Themes 

child labour day
Credits: ILO

The World Day Against Child Labour has a specific theme every year. Actions undertaken and messages spread focus on that particular theme of the year for Child Labour Day as announced by ILO: 

2021Act now: end child labour!
2020 COVID-19: Protect Children from Child Labour, now more than ever! 
2019Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams!
2018Generation Safe & Healthy
2017In conflicts and disasters, protect children from child labour
2016End child labour in supply chains – It’s everyone’s business! 
2015NO to child labour – YES to quality education! 
2014Extend social protection: combat child labour! 
2013No to child labour in domestic work 
2012Human rights and social justice… let’s end child labour
2011Warning! Children in hazardous work 
2010: Go for the goal… end child labour 
2009 Give girls a chance: End child labour  
2008Education: The right response to child labour  
2007Child labour and agriculture
2006The end of child labour: Together, we can do it!  
2005A load too heavy: Child labour in mining and quarrying  
2004Behind closed doors: Child domestic labour   
2003 Trafficking in Children 
2002A Future Without Child Labour

Indian NGOs working Against Child Labour

Child Labour Day is also about celebrating and assisting organisations across the world that are working tirelessly to end child exploitation. These organisations are committed to ensuring that every child has the opportunity to grow, avail the rights and opportunities available to them and become independent functioning citizens of our society. Let’s look at some of the NGOs in India-

Bachpan Bachao Andolan

Bachpan Bachao Andolan is one of the largest movements in India against child abuse and exploitation.The organisation was founded in 1980 and has collaborated with government to effect policy changes and changes in law to ensure the child rights across India. The organisation has rescued over 1,02,302 children from trafficking and child labour. Individuals can help the movement by making donations or joining them as volunteers.

Child Rights And You (CRY)

CRY is one of the oldest organisations based in India fighting for child rights. The NGO has helped over 6,61,752 children across India from pressing issues like child labour, trafficking, malnutrition and child marriage. Indians and foreigners can get involved with CRY’s volunteer initiative called Become A #YellowFellow. All you need to do is wear yellow socks in a creative way, post a picture on social media with #YellowFellow and tag CRY. The idea is to raise awareness about child rights and issues hindering child development. 

CHILDLINE India Foundation

CHILDLINE India Foundation is an emergency helpline exclusively for children around India to help and care for their rights and offer protection to children 24/7. The foundation is associated with the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development and manages the CHILDLINE 1098 service all over the country. Foundation is responsible for establishing and managing the helpline service across India and raising awareness for the service. Since the lockdown, the helpline has answered over 4.6 Lakh calls and sent on ground emergency responders to more than 9000+ children across the country.

Make A Difference

Make A Difference is another spectacular organisation committed to improving the lives of children across India. To mobilise support for children during the pandemic, the organisation launched a campaign #NeverTooLate to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children. The public impact initiative has over 43983 members with an objective to provide care and protection to 35 million vulnerable children. Individuals can join the community and help raise awareness about child rights and issues.

Here are some more organisations you can follow or support on Child Labour Day-

  • Save The Children India
  • Uday Foundation
  • Pratham Education Foundation
  • SOS Children’s Villages, India
  • Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation
  • Hand in Hand India
  • Smile Foundation
  • Butterflies India

Also Read: ASL Speech on Child Labour

Stats regarding World Day Against Child Labour

  • Africa has the highest child labour with the absolute number of 72 million child labourers.
  • Asia and the Pacific rank second highest with 62 million child labour.
  • Africa, Asia and the Pacific account for almost nine out of every ten children in child labour worldwide. 
  • The rest of the child labour population is divided into Americas (11 million), Europe and Central Asia (6 million), Arab States (1 million). 
  • Total 152 million between the ages of 5-17 are in child labour. Almost 73 million are involved in hazardous child labour.
  • Almost 48% of the victims of child labour were 5-11 years, 28% of 12-14 years olds, and 24% of 15-17 years olds.
  • This is concentrated primarily in agriculture (71%), 17% in services and 12% in the industrial sector, including mining.

There is no reason, there is no excuse. Child labour is child abuse

Facts regarding Child Labour in India

  • According to MAD Foundation, there are 35 million children in India who are in need of care and protection.
  • Education and business play a vital role in eradicating child labour. Education can break the cycle of poverty, which is one of the biggest causes of child labour while businesses can take proactive steps to prevent child labour in manufacturing sectors. 
  • Child labour is a pressing issue in India, according to the Indian census of 2011, an estimated 10 million (3.9 per cent of the total child population then) children were found working in India in menial jobs.
  • In the 2011 Indian census, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar topped the list of states with the most number of child labourers. States like Rajasthan and Maharashtra had less than a million child labourers according to the report.
  • In 1986, India passed the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act that banned child labour. Article 24 of the Act states “No child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or employed in any hazardous employment.”. 
  • United Nations declared the year 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. 
  • Peshawar High Court issued notices over a plea seeking an end to child labour in KP
  • The Global Battery Alliance (GBA) has taken a 2021 Action Pledge to End Child Labour in the Battery Supply Chain as of the Alpart liance 8.7’s campaign.
  • On May 27, China urged the US to take effective measures to solve child labour problems
  • NHRC issues advisory for protection of rights of children during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Rural Poverty leads to increase in child labour in Laos Despite State Laws Prohibiting The Practice

Also Read

This is all about the World Day Against Child Labour and Child Labour Day. We hope this blog motivates you to contribute towards the End Child Labour movement. For more such informative content, follow Leverage Edu.

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