In most cases child labour represents a sort of extra to be pooled to the family income, which is required in situations of financial difficulty. The phenomenon occurs mostly in the world’s poorest areas: in fact, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of exploited minors.
But it is found even in an industrialised country such as Italy, where about 340,000children under the age of 16 are forced to work. “The peak of child labour is registered in teenagers during the transition from middle to high school, making Italy one of the European countries with the highest rate of truancy, equal to 18.2 per cent,” Raffaella Milano of Save the Children explains.
Past editions have underlined the importance of education, which is key to accessing respectable forms of employment in adulthood. It has been demonstrated that putting girls in the condition to go to schoolis one of the best investments a country can make for its own development, yet they’re the ones who are usually the first to be forced to work in critical situations. In order to reverse this trend, the ILO asks that quality education is provided to every child, and for more effective national policies in tackling child labour and encouraging education.
For a safe and healthy generation
The theme of the 2019 edition is Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams because seven out of ten of those working under the legal age are employed in agriculture, although this issue affectS every sector. In addition, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the ILO: the World Day Against Child Labour looks back on progress achieved to tackle child labour.
The 2018 edition, together with that of the World Day on Safety and Health at Work held on the 28th of April, highlighted the urgent need to improve safety and health condition for young workers, whilst working to stop child labour. The goal of this joined campaign is to accelerate the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals which include guaranteeing safe labour environments for all workers by 2030 and eliminating all forms of child labour by 2025.
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