World Day against Child Labour webinar, 25 June 2020

COVID-19: Protect children from child labour, now more than ever!

This online event will highlight the key impacts of COVID-19 to child labour globally and in Malaysia and provide the Malaysian government with recommendations to address the child labour issues.

The ILO and UNICEF have partnered to co-organize the World Day Against Child Labour in Malaysia through a webinar entitled “COVID-19: Protect children from child labour, now more than ever!” on 25 June 2020 from 10.00 am – 11.30 am (GMT+8).

This year’s event aims to:
• Highlight the key impacts of COVID-19 to child labour globally and in Malaysia;
• Understand the efforts and plans of the government toward achieving SDG Target 8.7 within the context of COVID-19 pandemic; and
• Provide recommendations to the government on actions to address the child labour issue.

Participants interested in joining the event can register here

Background

Eradicating child labour is a key target (8.7) in the Sustainable Development Goals. Globally, countries recognize that child labour is a hindrance to the attainment of a rights-based and sustainable development. The World Day Against Child Labour is celebrated annually on 12th June to shed light on this issue, promote dialogue and discuss policy actions toward eliminating this problem. The UN has declared 2021 the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. This provides an opportunity for all UN Member States and partners to join efforts to tackle child labour on the road to 2025, the date set by SDG Target 8.7 to end child labour in all its forms.

Malaysia has ratified ILO Minimum Age Convention (C138) and Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (C182). Although there is no national child labour survey, various studies and empirical evidence indicate that child labour is happening in certain pockets of both rural and urban areas of Malaysia even before the pandemic. Malaysia expressed interest to become an Alliance 8.7 Pathfinder Country on November 2019. Alliance 8.7 is a global partnership focusing on accelerating actions toward achieving SDG Target 8.7, scaling up solutions that work, driving innovation, and leveraging and maximizing the impact of resources.
The global pandemic of COVID-19 has exacerbated poverty, inequality and deprivation. Among the most severely affected are children, especially those from low-income households, and those in irregular situations. The closure of schools combined with increased hardship among poor families increase the risk of child labour. A newly released joint ILO-UNICEF paper on the impact of COVID-19 on child labour looks at some of the main channels through which the pandemic is likely to affect progress towards the eradication of child labour.

Speakers

Opening message
  • Datuk Muhd Khair Razman bin Muhamed Annuar
    Deputy Secretary General (Policy and International), Ministry of Human Resources
Moderator
  • Prof. Dato’ Noor Aziah Hj. Mohd. Awal
    Children’s Commissioner, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)
Panel speakers

Impacts of COVID-19 to child labour globally
  • Bharati Pflug
    Senior Specialist for Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, ILO
Message from the Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR)
  • Rhymie bin Mohd Ramli
    Senior Assistant Director, MOHR Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia
Message from workers
  • Mr K Somasundram,
    Assistant Secretary for Education, Malaysian Trades Union Congress 
Message from the employers
  • Goh Seng Wing
    Representative, Malaysian Employers Federation 
Example of business interventions on addressing child labour
  • Perpetua George
    Group Sustainability General Manager, Wilmar International
Closing message
  • Sarah Norton-Staal
    Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF
This webinar is co-organized by ILO Bridge Project “From Protocol to Practice and Bridge to Global Action on Forced Labour” funded by the US Department of Labor (USDOL) under cooperative agreement number IL-27592-15-75-K--1 and “Protecting children affected by migration in Southeast, South, and Central Asia - a project implemented by UNICEF and co-funded by the European Union (EU) and UNICEF. The webinar contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the USDOL and EU.