Children should grow up in families, not at work
“I feel very bad being a domestic worker as I am deprived of family love and care. It is very different from my home. I miss my village and my grandmother a lot.” (Girl, Nepal)
Today is World Day Against Child Labour. The most recent global estimates suggest some 120 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are involved in child labour, with boys and girls in this age group almost equally affected.1 Child labourers are at high risk of illness, injury and even death; often working long hours, living in poor conditions and denied access to education.
Aside from the risks associated with the work itself, many children are employed away from their families which threatens still further their well-being, social, emotional and intellectual development.
“Children who are torn away from their families and made to work can suffer long-term psychological damage, working and living in harmful environments where they are exploited, abused and neglected. Family strengthening, education and the economic empowerment of women are the most important things for eliminating child slavery. Our work suggests that if children are educated, then they will know their rights, and the chances of them being forced into labor will decrease. ” Former child slave and Chair of our Board, James Kofi Annan, Challenging Heights, Ghana
Read more about Challenging Heights who have directly rescued hundreds of children forced to work in Ghana’s fishing industry. Their prevention work also protects tens of thousands of children in dozens of vulnerable communities. Challenging Heights promotes youth and family empowerment, children’s rights to education and freedom from forced labour in Ghana
Read about Butterflies whose programmes benefit children who live and work on the streets in Delhi, fending for themselves and their families. Butterflies’ major task is to ensure that the children become part of their education programme and continue formal schooling.
Going Home: The reintegration of child domestic workers in Nepal
There are an estimated 1.8 million child labourers in Nepal, 361,814 of whom are child domestic workers. This study seeks to identify how these vulnerable and exploited children (mainly girls) can be successfully and sustainably reunited with their families and communities.
The links between child protection and employment and growth
Childhood must be considered as a time for learning and development in order to lay the foundations for future social and economic well-being. Children need to be supported and protected from labour pressures, violence, neglect, and exploitation, within the home and in all other areas of their lives. Policymakers must also guard against risk factors associated with rapid economic growth including migration, increased demand for cheap labour, growing urbanisation and the potential for increased exploitation of children and communities.
My world, my vision: child consultations
Many boys and girls feel the need to contribute money and labour to the household, and for their own personal survival. Few begrudge their families or caregivers the burden of these responsibilities but many are concerned about the risks they are exposed to as a result of performing particular jobs. Children recognise that parents’ difficulties in finding decent means of earning income has significant implications for their everyday lives, for example in terms of their inability to attend school or to live with their parents.