This World Day Against Child Labour, Focus On Ending The Social Evil.

This World Day Against Child Labour, Focus On Ending The Social Evil

The theme will be observed throughout the "Week of Action" that began on June 10. (Representational)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on lives and livelihoods around the world. The subsequent socio-economic fallouts of the pandemic have had a tremendous impact on the lives of millions of children who are victims of child labour, in particular, the United Nations has observed. As nations across the globe observe the World Against Child Labour Day on June 12, a report published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) of the UN states, "The number of children in child labour has risen to 160 million worldwide — an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years," attributing the rise to the pandemic. Addressing the need to put an end to the evil practice, the theme for the year is "Act Now: End Child Labour".

The theme will be observed throughout the "Week of Action" that began on June 10. Explaining the significance of the day, the ILO report said, "Child labour reinforces intergenerational poverty, threatens national economies and undercuts rights guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child." Additionally, 2021 is also the "International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour".

The report found that the number of children between five and 17 exposed to hazardous work has risen by 6.5 million to 79 million since 2016. Putting the overwhelming numbers of child labour victims into context, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said, "The new estimates are a wake-up call. We cannot stand by while a new generation of children is put at risk.”

On the occasion, António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN said on Twitter, "Child labour should have no place in today's world. Sadly, it remains a reality for 160 million children. Saturday's #EndChildLabour Day is a reminder that it's up to all of us to protect children from exploitation. "

Closer home, Union Minister Smriti Irani wrote, "Every child has a right to education and a happy childhood. On World Day Against Child Labour, let us reaffirm our commitment towards combatting child labour. It is with people's participation that we can ensure our children get a childhood they deserve."

Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma said in a post on Twitter, "On #WorldDayAgainstChildLabour, we take a pledge to nurture the dreams of every young child and bring an end to forced labour..."

Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, said, "On #WorldDayAgainstChildLabour, our effort should be to end child labour in all its forms. During the corona pandemic, it has become more important to take care of children, especially from deprived sections so that no child is engaged in labour."

Celebrated sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik shared a photo of a special creation to mark the day.

Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana also shared his views on the day on his Instagram account. Sharing a photo, he wrote, " The #COVID19 pandemic has affected children's lives in unimaginable ways, exposing the most vulnerable to many risks including child labour. Call 1098 if you see a child in distress. Protect them from violence and abuse and from dropping out of school."

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A post shared by Ayushmann Khurrana (@ayushmannk)

Education, investment in child protection systems and adequate social protection for all, including universal child benefits are considered some of the ways to tackle and eradicate the social evil.

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