June 12, 2020: World Day Against Child Labour is observed every year on June 12. This theme this year is focused on “COVID-19: Protect Children from Child Labour, Now More Than Ever”.
In line with this, Sudarshan Suchi, Secretary-General/National Director – SOS Children’s Villages says: “International Labor Organization (ILO) defines child labour as any disastrous work affecting physical, mental and social development of children, depriving them of their childhood and education. India has as many as 257 million children working as labourers, as per Census 2011.
Poverty is the single most important factor for child labour which prevents children from getting into formal schooling. There are also many entrenched and structural issues that lead children into working at a tender age. Children are very vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. If their rights to survival, development, protection and participation are compromised, their chances of becoming contributing and responsible members of society are lost forever.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, migrant families have lost their livelihoods and home and the ability to provide for their children. Not just migrants walking back home but also those living in slums or rural areas all are adversely impacted. Though a huge amount of money has been mobilised to support those in need, millions of children have been adversely impacted. Having no one to care for means children may end up in child labour, trafficking, drug abuse, early marriages, and so on.”