In 2011, the World Day against Child Labour focuses on children engaged in hazardous work. This year again, Education International (EI) joins the activities organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) around 12 June.
The ILO has estimated that there are 215 million children in child labour and, of these, 115 million are directly involved in hazardous work. Hazardous work, which is one of the worst forms of child labour, is defined as work that is likely to harm children’s physical, mental or moral health. In some cases the work may even jeopardise children’s lives.
Hazardous child labour cannot be addressed in isolation. It is part of the global problem of child labour, which is closely linked to lack of quality educational opportunities for children, and factors linked to poverty, lack of social protection and lack of decent work for adults and youth. Child labour has major repercussions on the education process of children, with many working children either not attending school at all, or dropping out of school at an early age, being absent, repeating grades or having low educational achievement.
Providing access to free, compulsory and quality education for all children until the minimum age of employment is a key strategy to tackle all forms of child labour. Hazardous child labour does not remove a child from poverty. A quality education can!
EI and the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour of the International Labour Organisation (ILO-IPEC) have developed a publication entitled “Warning! Children in hazardous work - End child labour”. This publication provides a clear picture of what is hazardous work and how to tackle it. It also highlights the key role of education in fighting child labour. The publication can be downloaded here.