WORLD DAY AGAINST CHILD LABOUR 2021

12 June was the International Day for the Elimination of Child Labour. It was also the first World Day since the universal ratification of the International Labour Organization’s Convention No.182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour. Earlier on 10 June, the UNICEF and ILO released a joint report titled “Child Labour: Global estimates 2020, trends and the road forward.” The report indicates that the number of children in child labour has increased to 160 million, an increase of 8.4 million children in the past four years, with more millions at risk due to the impacts of the COVID-19. The UN has also declared 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.

What is child labour? Not all work done by children is considered child labour. The International Labour Organization defines child labour ” as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity, and that is harmful to their physical and mental development. 

The information below is an excerpt from the website of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour on the situation of child labour worldwide.

What does child labour look like?  Globally, 152 million children (this number has now increased to 160 million, according to the recent UNICEF/ILO report) aged 5 to 17 are in child labour. About half of the children (72.5 million) perform hazardous work that places their health, safety, or moral development at risk.

  • One in five children in Africa is involved in child labour, making it the region where the risk of child labour is greatest
  • Half of the affected children live in lower-middle and upper-middle-income countries
  • The problem is more prevalent in countries experiencing conflict and disaster
  • 70% of children in child labour work in agriculture, mainly in subsistence and commercial farming and herding livestock
  • A third of children in child labour are entirely outside the education system, and those that do attend school perform poorly

How can we end child labour? With the right policy approaches and practical responses, the end is in sight. Here’s what we need to do:

  • Advance the legal commitment to ending child labour
  • Promote decent work for adults and young people of legal working age
  • Build and extend social protection systems, including floors, to help low-income families
  • Expand access to free, quality public education as the logical alternative to child labour
  • Address child labour in supply chains
  • Protect children in situations of fragility and crisis

Learn more:

UNICEF 2021 report on Child Labour; https://bit.ly/2SwggOx

CHILD LABOUR: “UNRAVELING CHILD LABOUR IN THE MINING INDUSTRY IN THE CONGO BASIN”

In commemoration of the World Day Against Child Labor (12 June), International Day of the African Child (16 June), and the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor (2021), Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at the UN with several NGOs is co-sponsoring a virtual event with the NGO Mining Working Group at the UN, with the title, “Unraveling child labor in the mining industry in the Congo Basin.” The event will take place on 18 June 2021, at 9:00 PM ET/14:00 UTC. Simultaneous French translation will be available for French speakers. Please join us for this crucial webinar which will feature insights from policy analysts on the difficulties with implementing the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mining code, a social work practitioner who offers psychological and social assistance to children in Kolwezi a mining community in the DRC.  Panelists will also discuss the relevance of international frameworks like the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the ILO Conventions on Child Labor, and the Sustainable Development Goals to child labor. Together, discussants will provide policymakers and civil society advocates guidance on the pathway to eradicating child labor in the DRC mines.

CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK TO REGISTER FOR THE EVENT: https://bit.ly/3oUjDuh.

2020 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD: MY VOICE, OUR EQUAL FUTURE

UN Photo

11 October is observed as the International Day of the Girl Child. According to a UN estimate, there are more than 1.1 billion girls under age 18 globally. These girls are poised to become the largest generation of female leaders, entrepreneurs, and change-makers the world has ever seen. The theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl-Child is “My Voice, Our Future.” Girls are not just victims; they are also agents of change, as many girls in different parts of the world are proving today.

 As educators, parents, and society, we must continue to empower our girl-child to have confidence in themselves, to believe that they can achieve their dreams if they put minds to it. As part of an event leading up to the International Day of the Girl, SNDatUN co-sponsored the second day of the 11 Days of Action Twitter campaign organized by the International Day of the Girl Summit to amplify young women’s voices worldwide on girls’ issues. Our Twitter chat, which too took place on 2 October, focused on keeping girls safe and the power of educational equity. We believe that improved education help girls achieve economic parity and counter gender-based violence by teaching all children.

DID YOU KNOW?

UN Photo
  • Worldwide, nearly 1 in 4 girls aged 15–19 years is neither employed nor in education or training compared to 1 in 10 boys of the same age. By 2021 around 435 million women and girls will be living on less than $1.90 a day — including 47 million pushed into poverty as a result of COVID-19.
  • 1 in 3 women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence. Emerging data shows that since the outbreak of COVID-19, violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has INTENSIFIED.
  • At least 60% of countries still discriminate daughters’ rights to inherit land and non-land assets in either law or practice. (From UN Women)

Read more:

International Day of the Girl Child: https://bit.ly/3eiOQ5d

19 Days Activism Kit (November 1-19) for Prevention of Abuse and Violence Against Children and Youths:  https://bit.ly/35V7sEK

WORLD DAY AGAINST CHILD LABOUR: IMPACTS OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON CHILD LABOUR

512 June is observed as World Day against Child Labour. The 2020 World Day Against Child Labour focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on child labour. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 152 million children are victims of child labour; almost half of them, 73 million, work in hazardous child labour. Although progress has been made in reducing incidences of child labour in the past 20 years, the Director-General of the ILO, Mr. Guy Ryder, however warns that this progress may be lost as a result of the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.  This is especially true for many families and economies in low and middle-income countries. In a virtual event to commemorate the 2020 World Day Against Child Labour, the ILO and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)  jointly launched a paper titled, “COVID-19 and child labour: A time of crisis, a time to act.” The paper looks at some of the ways that the pandemic is likely to affect progress towards the eradication of child labour.

 More:

ILO Publication: Ending Child Labor by 2025: A review of policies and programmes: https://bit.ly/3dGLV4f

Joint statement by the ILO and UNICEF to mark the World Day Against Child Labour: https://bit.ly/2Y2C97Y

 

WORLD CHILDREN’S DAY: CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD @ 30

4

UN photo

World Children’s Day is celebrated on 20 November every year. The 2019 celebration had a special significance because it also marked the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC is a legally-binding international human rights treaty that applies to every child. It sets out the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion, or abilities.”  As of date, 196 countries are parties to the CRC, including all member states of the UN except the United States. The CRC is an acknowledgment by the community of nations that children are right holders. The late South African president, Nelson Mandela described the Convention as “…that luminous, living document that enshrines the rights of every child without exception, to a life of dignity and self-fulfillment.” In her “open letter to the children of the world” to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the CRC, the Director-General of the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), Henrietta H. Fore, highlighted eight reasons she is both worried and hopeful about the next generation. These include; the devastating impacts of climate change, violent conflicts and wars, mental health, migration, and so on. Read the full letter HERE.

While significant progress has been made in child rights since the adoption of the CRC 30 years ago, a lot more still needs to be done. For millions of children around the world, childhood is still a time of misery and deprivation. Every society has a moral obligation to protect her children from all forms of abuse. Governments have a responsibility to provide healthcare, education, and other social services for children.  The future belongs to children, but unless we act now, many children will face a decidedly bleak future.

Read more :

State of the World’s Children 2019 Report: https://uni.cf/34n45nU

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY: “ACTING TOGETHER TO EMPOWER CHILDREN, THEIR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES TO END POVERTY”

1

UNICEF Photo

17 October is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The theme for this year’s commemoration, “Acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty,”  was deliberately chosen to put a focus on childhood poverty as the United Nations marks the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC is a landmark international human rights treaty that sets out the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion, or abilities. The Convention recognizes the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social development.  Sadly, for millions of children around the world, a lot of the rights outlined in the CRC are far from becoming a reality.

According to the 2019 UNICEF report on “The State of the World’s Children,” one-third of2 children under age 5 are malnourished – stunted, wasted, or overweight – while two-thirds are at risk of malnutrition and hidden hunger because of the poor quality of their diets. This situation is unacceptable. If governments can spend trillions of dollars acquiring weapons of misery and death, as well as investing billions in advancing technologies that can take people to other planets, why are we not able to feed our children? As the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, rightly noted, “Ending extreme poverty is not a matter of charity. It is a question of justice.” Poverty is not inevitable. … It is often the outcome of choices that society makes.”

Governments must deliver on the 2030 Global Agenda to lift families out of poverty. Access to Social Protection for all is an effective and efficient way to end childhood poverty. Every individual has the right to a life of dignity. According to Eli Khamarove, “poverty is like punishment for a crime you did not commit.”

Read more: UNICEF 2019 Report on the State of the World’s Children: https://uni.cf/2OPQwsm

WORLD DAY AGAINST CHILD LABOUR: “CHILDREN SHOULDN’T WORK IN FIELDS BUT ON DREAMS”

5The World Day Against Child Labour, which is celebrated on 12 June every year, was launched in 2002 by the International Labour Organization (ILO) to raise awareness and inspire actions to end child labour. The theme for the 2019 World Day Against Child Labour is; Children should not work in fields but on dreams. This assertion, sadly, is not the experience for the millions of children who are forced to work every day to support themselves and their families, sometimes under very hazardous conditions. The ILO data indicates that over 218 million children around the world are forced to work full-time. Child labour robs children of their childhood. It exposes them to situations of abuse, deprives them of leisure and fundamental freedoms, adequate education, and healthcare. Child labour endangers the lives of children and violates their human rights.

States must ensure the protection of the human rights of children as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international human rights instruments. As Nelson Mandela rightly noted, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

Below are some facts and figures from the UN website, illustrating the prevalence of child labour in the different regions of the globe.

  • Worldwide 218 million children between 5 and 17 years are in employment.
    Among them, 152 million are victims of child labour; almost half of them, 73 million, work in hazardous child labour.
  • In absolute terms, almost half of child labour (72.1 million) is to be found in Africa; 62.1 million in the Asia and the Pacific; 10.7 million in the Americas; 1.2 million in the Arab States and 5.5 million in Europe and Central Asia.
  • In terms of prevalence, 1 in 5 children in Africa (19.6%) are in child labour, whilst prevalence in other regions is between 3% and 7%: 2.9% in the Arab States (1 in 35 children); 4.1% in Europe and Central Asia (1 in 25); 5.3% in the Americas (1 in 19) and 7.4% in Asia and the Pacific region (1 in 14).
  • Almost half of all 152 million children victims of child labour are aged 5-11 years. 6
    Forty-two million (28%) are 12-14 years old, and 37 million (24%) are 15-17 years old.
  • Hazardous child labour is most prevalent among the 15-17 years old. Nevertheless, up to a fourth of all hazardous child labour (19 million) is done by children less than 12 years old.
  • Among 152 million children in child labour, 88 million are boys, and 64 million are girls.
  • 58% of all children in child labour and 62% of all children in hazardous work are boys. Boys appear to face a greater risk of child labour than girls, but this may also be a reflection of an under-reporting of girls’ work, particularly in domestic child labour.
  • Child labour is concentrated primarily in agriculture (71%), which includes fishing, forestry, livestock herding, and aquaculture, and comprises both subsistence and commercial farming; 17% in Services; and 12% in the Industrial sector, including

Read more:

Convention Concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment: https://bit.ly/1lNdlbG

Learn about the Convention on the Rights of the Child: https://uni.cf/2XLOFGz

 

 

SISTER JEANNETTE LOUIS-PIERRE: MAKING GOD’S GOODNESS KNOWN TO THE PEOPLE OF LA SAVANE, HAITI

5

Sr. Jeannette and the women

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur first went from the United States to La Savane, Haiti, in 2009, at the request of Monseigneur Alix VERRIER, Bishop of the Diocese of les Cayes. La Savane is one of the 32 slums in the Les Cayes Province, with a population of about 25,000 inhabitants. This was according to a study done in 2009 by a team of interdisciplinary researchers. Haiti is described as the poorest country in the Northern Hemisphere. The country also faces constant challenges with natural disasters, such tropical storms, lightning, floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis. These factors exacerbate the already deplorable economic and social conditions of the population. Women in La Savane, as in many parts of Haiti are the worst affected by the economic and social conditions in the country. Many of these women are single mothers, and with little or no education, most of them cannot provide for the basic needs of their children. As a result, many children as young as six, roam the streets begging or scavenging for food from dumpsites. This situation, unfortunately, exposes the children to situations of exploitation and abuse.

Sister Jeannette Pierre-Louis, SNDdeN has continued to respond to the needs of the

6

Women in a culinary art class

 

women and children of La Savane, since 2009. She administers the Notre Dame Family Education Center where about 120 women are enrolled in the basic literacy program, culinary and pastry art, sewing, embroidery and floral art. With the skills these women acquire from the center, they are able to start their own small businesses through which they generate some income to feed their families and pay tuition for their children. Many of the women now make uniforms for their children, and clothes for themselves and other families members. About 50 children, aged, 6 to 12 are also currently enrolled in the Notre Dame Family Education Center. The children learn basic reading, writing, and Math. In addition to learning to read and write, the children also engage in sporting and other extra-curricular activities. They receive one free meal a day from the center as well.

7

Children having their meal

Thanks to Sister Jeannette’s determination, and support from the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Notre Dame Associates, Notre Dame Americorp Volunteers, and donors, most of the children at the Notre Dame Family Education Center who probably would never have had an opportunity in life for a formal education, can now read and write. Quite characteristic for a Sister of Notre Dame, Sr. Jeannette believes that “every child has a right to education because education is key to a brighter future.” Sr. Jeannette continues to proclaim God’s loving care   and goodness to the people of La Savane, Haiti.

 

Watch Video of Sister Jeannette Pierre-Louis in La Savane, Haiti: https://bit.ly/2PvI4fc

INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST CHILD LABOUR: NEED TO IMPROVE THE SAFETY AND HEALTH OF YOUNG WORKERS AND END TO CHILD LABOUR

3June 12 is designated by the United Nations as the World Day Against Child Labour. The International Labour Organization (ILO) defines child labour as “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity, and that is harmful to the physical and mental development of a child.” To be considered as child labour, the ILO maintains that work must be “mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to a child, and must also interfere with a child’s school, make them leave school or require them to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.” Over two million children around the world, especially in developing countries are forced into worst forms of child labour such as; working in very dangerous situations, slavery, drug trafficking, prostitution and armed conflict, according to a recent ILO report. The theme for the 2018 World Day Against Child Labour is; “The Global Need to Improve the Safety and Health of Young Workers and End to Child Labour.”

 

Below are facts and figures from a recent International Labour Organization report on the situation of child labour worldwide.

  • Worldwide 218 million children between 5 and 17 years are in employment.
    Among them, 152 million are victims of child labour; almost half of them, 73 million, work in hazardous child labour.
  • In absolute terms, almost half of child labour (72.1 million) is to be found in Africa; 62.1 million in the Asia and the Pacific; 10.7 million in the Americas; 1.2 million in the Arab States and 5.5 million in Europe and Central Asia.
  • In terms of prevalence, 1 in 5 children in Africa (19.6%) are in child labour, whilst prevalence in other regions is between 3% and 7%: 2.9% in the Arab States (1 in 35 children); 4.1% in Europe and Central Asia (1 in 25); 5.3% in the Americas (1 in 19) and 7.4% in Asia and the Pacific region (1 in 14).
  • Almost half of all 152 million children victims of child labour are aged 5-11 years.
    42 million (28%) are 12-14 years old; and 37 million (24%) are 15-17 years old.
  • Hazardous child labour is most prevalent among the 15-17 years old. Nevertheless, up to a fourth of all hazardous child labour (19 million) is done by children less than 12 years old.
  • Among 152 million children in child labour, 88 million are boys and 64 million are 4girls.
  • 58% of all children in child labour and 62% of all children in hazardous work are boys. Boys appear to face a greater risk of child labour than girls, but this may also be a reflection of an under-reporting of girls’ work, particularly in domestic child labour.
  • Child labour is concentrated primarily in agriculture (71%), which includes fishing, forestry, livestock herding and aquaculture, and comprises both subsistence and commercial farming; 17% in Services; and 12% in the Industrial sector, including mining.

ACTION: SPEAK OUT! BECOME AN ADVOCATE AGAINST CHILD LABOUR!

Read more: Convention on the Rights of the Child: https://bit.ly/1fVlqsS

Convention Concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment; https://bit.ly/1lNdlbG

Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention: https://bit.ly/1hZb7jb

International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour: https://bit.ly/1m9ieZE

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD: EMPOWER THE GIRL CHILD THROUGH EDUCATION

1The United Nations General Assembly, in a resolution adopted on December 2011, declared October 11 of every year as the International Day of the Girl Child. The purpose of this day is to increase awareness and address the needs and challenges girls around the world face. It is also a day to specifically advocate for the empowerment of girls and the promotion of their human rights. Some of the challenges faced by girls around the world include a lack of access to quality education, gender-based discrimination, forced marriage, lack of quality healthcare, and numerous others.

 It is important that teachers and those who work with children, especially the girl child, familiarize themselves with some of the relevant UN human rights instruments in order to safeguard the rights of these children. Some pertinent mechanisms for reference in regards to the human rights of the girl child include the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Read more:

Convention on the Rights of the Child; http://bit.ly/1HthiYh

Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women; http://bit.ly/1BbMigU

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: http://bit.ly/1ivfGUB