Give Girls A Chance!

The ILO is focusing on girl workers for this year’s World Day against Child Labour which is today the 12th June, 2009.

Some thoughts and facts on the occasion of the World Day against Child Labour:
The economic crisis has caused a major set back to the good work done so far in the battle against Child Labour.

A news report quoting ILO says that thousands of Indonesian Children are exploited for sex trade.

ILO has published a very informative document titled ‘Give Girls A Chance – Tackling Child Labour – A Key to Future’

According to ILO estimate more than 100 million girls were involved in child labour; it is 46% of all child workers.

Approximately 53 million girls are estimated to be in hazardous work which includes commercial sexual exploitation of children and forced/ bonded labour. Of these, 20 million are less than 12 years old.

About 20 million child workers out of the estimated 218 child workers world wide are employed in manufacturing activity.

Nearly 1 million children from 5 to 17 years of age work in mines and quarries.

And lastly 75 million children are still not enrolled in primary school and 55% of them are girls.

On Mohd Manan Ansari
Mohd Manan Ansari is a young boy who worked in Mica mines in Jharkhand ever since he was 8 years of age. He is now 14, and thanks to Bachpan Bachao Andolan, he is addressing today International Labour Conference in Geneva. Here is the link to his story ‘A Child’s Journey from Jharkhand to Geneva’.

The problem of child labour is almost insurmountable. All the information of the magnitude of the problem is somewhat unreliable because of the difficulty in collecting authentic data. But that should not deter us from resolving to find solutions. It is certaily not an easy job; poverty, lack of awareness in the society and lack of Government’s resolve are the major hurdles.

We need to attack it on war footing; it is not child’s play!

Vivek

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