It's said that children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate. World Day Against Child Labour 2021 has arrived. June 12 is commemorated every year to raise awareness about the social evil of promoting and hiring children for labour.
As per the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, amended in 2016 ("CLPR Act"), a "child" is defined as any person below the age of 14, and the CLPR Act prohibits employment of a child in any employment including as a domestic help. It is a cognizable criminal offence to employ a child for any work.
Children between the ages of 14 and 18 are defined as “Adolescent” and the law allows adolescent to be employed except in the listed hazardous occupation and processes which include mining, inflammable substance and explosives related work and any other hazardous process as per the Factories Act, 1948.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it. Each year on June 12, the day brings together governments, employers and organisations including civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them.
A french moralist Joseph Joubert said, “Children need models rather than critics.” Children are considered to be the future of a country. Children must be educated and informed only then the country can develop and progress. The International Labour Organization's World Day Against Child Labor focuses on the right to education for all children around the world, regardless of their economic condition, race, or caste.
Today, throughout the world, many children work, many full-time. They do not go to school and have little or no time to play. Many do not receive proper nutrition or care. They are denied the chance to be children. More than half of them are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities including drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.
This day was established so that people all around the world would be reminded of the horrors committed against children around the world. It was marked to raise awareness that employing a child for work is both illegal and morally wrong.
This year the theme of World Day Against Child Labour happens to be Act now: end child labour!
According to a new report by the ILO and UNICEF, the number of children in child labour has risen to 160 million worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years – with millions more at risk due to the impacts of COVID-19.
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said, “The new estimates are a wake-up call. We cannot stand by while a new generation of children is put at risk.”
Children shouldn't work in fields, but on dreams. This year's World Day Against Child Labour focuses on action taken for the Elimination of Child Labour. World Day against Child Labour focused on the impact of the crisis on child labour. The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market shock have had a huge impact on the lives of millions, and children are often the worst sufferers. The Covid-19 crisis has even pushed thousands of vulnerable children into child labour, according to United Nations.
Child Labour is not confined to slavery only. It includes malicious practices like Drug Trafficking and Prostitution. Bollywood's contribution is appreciable to create social awareness on Child Labour. Boot Polish, released in 1954, directed by Prakash Arora, discusses two children who learn how to work and earn self-pride instead of begging. The movie marveled to showcase kids' struggle towards becoming self-dependent.
Another one such film is 'I am Kalam', which was released in 2011. It was directed by Nila Madhab Panda. The film's plot revolves around a poor kid who got inspired by the former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam. He changes his name to Kalam to accomplish his dreams. The film got screened at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival. It was a great hit.
Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa said, “Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”
Let's join hands to save our kids and our future.