To mark the World Day Against Child Labour 2008, high school students from Italy created a canvas inspired by the fairytale character Pinocchio. This wooden puppet, who dreams of becoming a real boy, makes his journey towards greater awareness and responsible behaviour, with the help of Jiminy Cricket as his conscience or inner voice. Photo:ILO/
This represents physical decline caused by privileged economic conditions combined with greed. The overweight character is biting into a hamburger from which a child's leg is dangling. It symbolises the disparity between the rich and the poor and reminds us that while some live in excess others are deprived of means of survival and dignity. Photo:ILO/
This represents awareness of the world around us, which can only be built through good education. The boy sits at a school desk holding a copy of Oliver Twist and is doubly shocked: the tales of hardship and abuse told in the novel are echoed by the reality of the child labourer standing across from him. Photo:ILO/
Today, 58 million primary-school aged children, and a much larger number of secondary-school aged children, do not have the opportunity to go to school, to learn to write, read and count. Many of these children are among the world┐s estimated 168 million child labourers. Many other children combine school and work but often to the detriment of their education. Although the majority of child labour occurs in agriculture, there are many other types of child labour worldwide. Child labour is rooted in poverty and lack of decent work for adults, lack of social protection, and a failure to ensure that all children are attending school through to the legal minimum age of admission to employment. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
The most effective way to tackle child labour is to improve access to, and the quality of, formal education systems, so that these attract and retain students and ensure that children freed from child labour are successfully integrated into schools. Through SCREAM educational initiatives, young people are being empowered to advocate locally and globally for the elimination of child labour and the right to an education and a fair globalization. They are opening up other people┐s eyes to the reality we are faced with and making a difference. By taking part in SCREAM activities and initiatives you too can educate others and contribute to the global fight to eliminate child labour. Visit www.ilo.org/scream. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.