While many families are focused on what they should do for Father’s day this Sunday, children around the world are forced to work instead. A common misunderstanding of those living in impoverished communities is that they would allow their children to drop their textbooks and start carrying the burden of debt on their shoulders. Today marks the “World Day Against Child Labor,” started by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2002 to bring responsibility to companies, individuals and governments who are depriving children from their basic human rights that include education, health, safety, and freedom. For children working in strenuous physical positions, the effects of lifting and operating heavy machinery will delay the body's natural process of development. The ILO estimates that “127 million boys and 88 million girls are involved in child labor with 74 million boys and 41 million girls in the worst forms.” Among the worst forms of child labor, the requirements for employment are overlooked which include: a minimum age to work, completion of basic education, protection against illegal activity including child pornography/prostitution and providing a healthy environment.
The eradication of child labor does not stop at denying jobs, it also aims at ending the buying and selling of children for slavery purposes and being used in armed conflict as soldiers. It is with the commitment of the IPO and the international community that by 2016, the most terrifying child worker violations will be eliminated.
One cannot think because they don't live in areas such as Nepal, Liberia and Guatemala, where the prevalence of child labor is more visibly seen, that they should not react to this movement. In Canada, North America and Mexico, the sex trafficking of minors is occuring not only on the border but also in suburban areas. From hazardous chemicals to physical abuse, every individual as a global member of society must do their part in recognizing the detrimental effects of child labor on the human race and future generations.
For more information on targeting child labor laws, check out IPO's progress entitled "Tackling Child Labor: From committment to action" http://www.ilo.org/ipec/Informationresources/WCMS_181875/lang--en/index.htm
Also, research current laws in your own state government's quest to protect children from the dangers of forced employment and get involved in saving the rights of a child!