Prime Minister's Message of the world day against child labour

Press release | Colombo, Sri Lanka | 12 June 2015

"I am proud to join the global community on this Day, June 12th in observing World Day Against Child Labour as we take a concerted stand against the unacceptable abuse of the rights of our children and barrier to their proper development.

The theme for this year’s annual World Day on 12th June 2015 is “No child labour; Yes to quality Education”.Our education policy stipulates that children should remain in school until age 18 and parents, guardians and employers should not abuse our children by engaging them in work below this age. Ensuring that education is free must be a part of our idea together with compensatory measures for the poorest families.

Children are the hope of the future. Let us all play our part to make our children labour free and a place where every child has a chance to go to school and be educated, so that they can achieve their full potential in decent work, when they come of age. Childhood is a time to grow. At this tender age, the body is developing and requires proper nutrition and exercise to grow. This is necessary to become productive adults. We need to ensure that every child has a full childhood and not one burdened by adult activities, such as employment and taking care of the family. Child labour is work that is harmful to a child’s development. It is about engaging children in hazardous and unhealthy work, often of an exploitative nature and interferes with and denies them the opportunity for an education. Child labour must be tackled through an integrated approach that includes measures to reduce poverty, provide universal education and promote social and economic development. Wholesome childhood experiences must not be burdened with hazardous, unhealthy engagement in work that denies children the opportunity of an education. Children must enjoy their childhood.

On this day, let us all work together to prevent and end child labour in our society."