As the football World Cup in South Africa kicks off, the International Labour Organization (ILO) marked the World Day Against Child Labour with an urgent appeal to “go for the goal – end child labour,” calling particular attention to the target of eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2016.
“While billions are caught up in the excitement of the football World Cup, some 215 million children are labouring for survival. Education and play are luxuries for them. Progress towards ending child labour is slowing down and we are not on course to end its worst forms by 2016. We have to get the momentum going again. Let us draw inspiration from the World Cup and rise to the challenge with the energy, the right strategy and the commitment it takes to get to the goal”, said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia.
World Day events are being held in more than 60 countries involving governments, employers, workers, and UN, non-governmental and civil society organizations.1 Events range from high level policy debates, to football matches and other sporting activities, public debates, media events, awareness-raising campaigns, cultural performances and other public activities (For a list of country level events, please click here). Many activities will also focus new attention on the “Red Card campaign against child labour” initiative led by the ILO, including publication of a resource kit produced in collaboration with FIFA and aimed at using football to support work in child labour elimination projects.
In Geneva on June 11 the International Labour Conference will discuss the ILO’s new Global Report on child labour (For more details, please click here). That same day, to mark the World Day hundreds of local school children will participate in a “Children’s solidarity event” at the Place des Nations organized by the “Le Respect, ca change la Vie” community association, in cooperation with the ILO. Children and local civic leaders will gather around a football goal to “go for the goal against child labour” and show the “Red card against child labour”.
The World Day comes one month after more than 450 delegates from 80 countries met at a Conference in The Hague convened by the Government of the Netherlands to agree on a Roadmap to accelerate progress to reach the goal of eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2016. The Roadmap sets out a number of guiding principles and identifies action to be taken by governments, social partners (workers and employers), civil society, non-governmental and other civil society, regional and international organizations.
Agreement on the Roadmap came as the ILO’s third Global Report on child labour warned that the global campaign against child labour is at a critical juncture. The Report shows that global efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour are losing momentum, and warns that unless they are significantly stepped up the 2016 target will not be reached.
This target was set in 2006 after positive trends contained in the previous Global Report suggested that the elimination of the worst forms of child labour was possible by 2016.
For more information or to interview experts on child labour, please contact the ILO International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour at +4122/799-6164 or +33/6333-91-680 (English only), +4122/799-8491 (English, French, German), +4122/799-7037 or +41/76-371-1252 (English, Spanish), or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Statements of support for the World Day from the UN Inter Agency Coordinating Committee on Human Rights Education in the School System, and from the World Organisation of the Scout Movement can be found at /ipec/Campaignandadvocacy/WDACL/WorldDay2010/WDACL2010-News/lang--en/index.htm