If we cannot begin to agree on fundamentals such as the elimination of the most abusive forms of child labour, then we really are not ready to march forward in the future. – Alexis Herman
Yesterday marked the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, taking place in Brazil. Whilst the World Cup should be an exciting, fun as well as safe experience for both adults and children alike, yesterday also marked another important date in the World, The World Day against Child Labour. Some might question the link…
Child labour is a violation of children’s rights that can leave children exposed to other violations such as physical and psychological violence, abuse and sexual exploitation. Although children and adolescents younger than 16 are not permitted to work in Brazil, there are approximately 3 million Brazilian boys and girls, aged 10 to 17 years, who are victims of child labour.
A girl plays football in a schoolyard in the city of Olinda in Brazil. © UNICEF/NYHQ2006-1337/Versiani
Narrowing it down to our Country, Nigeria, we have been urged to exempt our children from child labour but rather to give them social protection from such vices. The Commissioner, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Mrs Mofolake Adetoun Adegboyega, disclosed that this year’s theme which took place on the 12th of June 2014 is Extend Social Protection: Combat Child Labour.
The World Day against Child Labour is an initiative of International Labour Organization (ILO) first launched in 2002 aiming to raise awareness and activism against child labour. It is held every year on the 12th of June.
Every year, on the 12th of June, the World Day brings together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society as well as millions of people around the World to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them.
In Nigeria, there are many children engaged in forced, paid or unpaid domestic work which has made the children vulnerable to abuse and deprived them of education, health, leisure, basic freedom thereby violating their rights. These children are particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Their work is often hidden from the public eye, they may be isolated or working far away from their family home.
The World Day, this year, strives to;
– Introduce, improve and extend social protection.
– Make open National security systems that are sensitive to children’s needs and help fighting child labour.
– Provide social protection that reaches out especially to vulnerable group of children.
Brazil has been strengthening its child protection system’s ability to prevent and respond to all forms of violence and child exploitation – including child labour – by raising public awareness, mobilizing law enforcement agencies and the Justice branch to act against criminal networks, reinforcing specialised services, and more recently approving a new legislation that qualifies the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents as a heinous crime. They also added to their efforts the launching of an application “Projeta Brasil“ for smartphone users where they can track and report cases of child labour as well as raises the awareness in their country.
Nigerians are also being solicited and called from their various fields of work to join in this Campaign against Child labour. Let us play a Part in fighting child labour. GENO Hope Alive Foundation is taking part by encouraging Parents to take their Children off the streets and away from domestic labour by providing and sponsoring them with necessities for school to encourage them to stay in school.
Yesterday marked the start of the World Cup. Let’s also make it the start of the end of all forms of child labour, so that the World Cup can be an enjoyable, safe and fun time for all fans – both children and adults alike.
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Have an enjoyable weekend…