Red Card to Child Labour
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Red Card to Child Labour

  1. There are over 168 million children in child labour worldwide. More than half of them are doing work that puts their health and safety at risk. This is unacceptable. Be part of the global movement, hold up a Red Card to Child Labour and help give children around the world a brand new start.

    The ILO’s Red Card to Child Labour Campaign kicked-off with an original song, 'Til Everyone Can See, by Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger and violinist Ann Marie Simpson, with featured artists Travis Barker, Minh Dang, Dominic Lewis, LIZ, Pharrell Williams, and Hans Zimmer.

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  1. © Sarah McColgan 2014

    From Norway

    Nico & Vinz hold up the Red Card

    Norwegian pop-artists Nico & Vinz are among the several artists supporting the campaign through ArtWorks, the ILO's artists engagement programme.

Syrian refugee and Lebanese children stage performance to say no to child labour

The ILO partnered with Lebanon’s Ministry of Labour and the Lebanese non-governmental Beyond organisation to launch the dramatic production by Syrian and Lebanese children working in hazardous types of child labour in Lebanon. The children’s names have been changed to protect their identity.
Abject poverty is forcing many Syrian refugee families to send their children to work. In Lebanon, host to over a million refugees from Syria, current and former child labourers held a musical and theatrical performance to mark World Day against Child Labour on June 12.
More than a million Syrian refugees have arrived in Lebanon since violence broke out in their country in 2011, settling in squalid tented camps. A large proportion of refugees – some estimates say 50 per cent – are children. Work in host country Lebanon is scarce for refugees fleeing violence in Syria. Many of the refugees live in desperate poverty, surviving on hand-outs and help from international agencies and NGOs. Many refugees send their children out to work for meagre wages to make ends meet. Although child labour is illegal in Lebanon, there are an estimated 180,000 to 300,000 child workers in the country, many of them Syrian refugees. Some of the worst forms of child labour – such as hazardous work in the informal agricultural and urban sectors, and in such roles as street peddling and begging – are on the rise amongst the refugees, with evidence of forced labour emerging. More than 80 per cent of Syrian children working in Lebanon labour in the fields, often in hazardous conditions. Many are in the fertile eastern Beqaa Valley. For many, their day begins at six in the morning, when they are collected by truck from their camp.

My eyes sting all of the time. That’s because of the salt. Everyone goes to harvest salt because it’s the only way to make money to buy clothes and school supplies. My parents can’t manage otherwise.”

Awa (Senegal), 9-year-old girl

It’s really hard work because the hammer is heavy and you can get hurt. There is also a lot of dust when you crush rocks and it gets in your eyes and makes little cuts."

12-year-old boy (Senegal)

One day I didn’t feel well, I was very tired and fell down a few times while I was working. The captain was watching me. He kicked me hard because of this.”

Braulio (peru), 14-year-old boy

A person is wise if he works for necessities rather than working for impractical things."

Sunita (Nepal), 16 years old

There is no alternative."

Sudha, 12 years old girl, stone crusher at a quarry in Nepal

I am the oldest, that’s why I have to be responsible for the family.”

Juan Carlos (Guatemala), now 17, has been chipping volcanic rocks since he was 8 years old.

When I worked I wished I was a rich person with freedom. I dreamed about that when I worked. But now I dream about being a smart person, who can do something good for my country and the world.”

D. Jargal (Mongolia), 7th-grader, worked in gold mines to help his family

My work was to carry the rubble from the quarry site. These were very sharp stones. My feet bled all the time and all I could do was silently weep in pain but go on."

Gopal (India), 12 year-old boy, school dropout.

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Contact us

  1. ILO Communication Department
  2. ILO International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour
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