Thursday, 12 June 2014 00:34
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has called for a united effort to stop child labour as today marks World Day Against Child Labour.
ILO said 12 June is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour. Hundreds of millions of girls and boys throughout the world are engaged in work that deprives them of adequate education, health, leisure and basic freedoms, violating their rights. Of these children, more than half are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.
The ILO commemorates the World Day against Child Labour on 12 June to promote the prevention of children attending any form of child labour globally. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to look forward to have wider support from governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations, NGOs and civil society, international and regional organisations and all those in the worldwide movement against child labour.
On the eve of the World Day Against Child Labour, Donglin Li, ILO Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives stated in his remarks that the ILO has been providing technical support to the Government of Sri Lanka to realise it’s commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labour by 2016.
He appreciated the Government’s ratification of ILO Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour, and ILO Convention No. 138 on the minimum age for employment. He mentioned that the ILO has conducted a child activity survey which has helped strengthen policies and legal frameworks, developed a roadmap and adopted a mainstreaming strategy approach in pilot activities that have potential to be scaled up, and partnering with the Ministry of Labour and Labour Relations, the ILO assisted the district administration to set up a pilot ‘child labour free zone’ in the district of Ratnapura on the occasion of World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) last year, and In parallel to the global campaign ILO in Sri Lanka in collaboration with the district administration, commemorates WDACL in Ratnapura this year too. The district will launch a campaign followed by an initiative to strengthen social protection to prevent child labour.
Li also said that the declaration of a child labour free zone in the adjoining district of Kegalle and in post-conflict Ampara are expected to be launched later on this month to mark WDACL. High-level officials of the Ministry of Labour and Labour Relations and Li will attend the event to provide the required support and encouragement to scale up the program and reach the target of zero tolerance for the worst forms of child labour by 2016.