The World Day Against Child Labour is held every year on June 12 to cast light on one of the most prominent social phenomena that have devastating effects on children’s lives. International statistics suggest that nearly 1 in 10 children are subjected to forced labour, an alarming situation that has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this international day is an opportunity to emphasize the importance of concerted international action toward achieving this year’s theme: “Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour.”
On this occasion, the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) calls upon all governmental institutions, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to join efforts toward strengthening international commitments that prohibit all forms of child labour. These include the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Islam, international and regional protocols on child protection, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, ILO Convention No. 138 on the minimum age for admission to employment, ILO Convention No. 132 on the worst forms of child labour, and Article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
ICESCO also calls upon all institutions and bodies in its Member States to consolidate the legal framework relating to child labour issues, taking into account the social specificities and level of vulnerability of this category. They need to make sure that all parties, including children, participate in developing national plans and projects that are geared toward ending child labour and monitoring and preventing all forms of child exploitation and abuse to ensure their education and social integration. To this end, Member States should:
- Eliminate child labour and return victims to school,
- Align national legislation with international legal standards and ensure compliance with national laws on compulsory education age and child labour.
- Protect children from economic and social vulnerability,
- Ensure access to distance education programmes,
- Protect children from the impact of armed conflict,
- Promote parent education programmes and enhance the involvement of elected local officials, parliamentary representatives, and civil society.