Never count this as yet another day in your life. This day is crucial to 170 millions of child laborers across globe. Yes; you heard it right... There are 17 crores (170 million) child labours in the world. This means 1 in every 10 children in this world is a child labour.
Let's get in to some semantics:
They work for average 12-14 hours/day & more than half of them are working in hazardous atmosphere which directly impacts their health, safety & even moral development. It is really shocking to see that, in addition to agriculture, manufacturing & construction; children at very early ages were deployed at life threatening fields like mining, armed conflicts & even sold to sex slavery in brothels. Will you believe there are over 3,00,000 child soldiers forced in to armed combat (Source: UNICEF). The most disturbing news is that, an average of 22000 kids die in the work-field each year, which clearly proves that either most of them are forced laborers or not capable enough to handle the job entrusted to them.
You may certainly frown when you know that majority of them aren't working for strangers, but put to work by their own families without pay. It is estimated that 1 out of every 5 child laborers are ever paid or compensated in anyway for their work. Many of these kids are either looking for survival at a very young age or obligated to work to help their poor families. Due to this, they were compelled to deal with Bricks & Tools instead of Books & Schools. Yes it's right. Under the circumstances how can they even dream of an education.
As per the statistics released, the 10 worst countries in the world for child labour are Pakistan, Afghanistan, N Korea, Myanmar, Sudan, D R Congo, Somalia, Ethiopia, Burundi & Zimbabwe. These countries make up two thirds of all child labours globally. India too is in the race for catching up to this list.
What we can do to control Child Labour:
Many organizations are working at various levels "against child labour". Many policies in this regard were put forth by UNICEF. A big question coming up here is "how effective are these policies"? This day is observed on June 12 th of every year aiming to bring awareness to the plight of child laborers all around the world & EFFECT CHANGE. Yes, they are looking at us. Are we capable of initiating a change?. I would suggest few steps.
- Take a solemn pledge that I will never engage or encourage child labour
- Be a member of an NGO, who is working on the rehabilitation of street children
- Donate funds generously.
- Sponsor education for at least 1 child
- Help Government to stop child labour.
We can always provide RESPITE, if not a complete SOLUTION
Cheers.... Anil Panicker