1st of May 2021  Labour Day...against child labour

1st of May 2021 Labour Day…against child labour

Published on May 01, 2021

2021: UN International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour

This 1st of May 2021 is an occasion to remind us that, worldwide, 152 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 work in agriculture, industry, services… according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Child labour, to extract raw materials, to manufacture the products we consume, to toil in the fields… is mostly invisible. Yet it is present in many countries. Including in our own backyard.

Labour Day will not concern these children, except…

Unless we all stand up, governments, companies, NGOs, consumers… to stop this outrageous situation.

We can do it, history has taught us.

As early as 1841, in France, men like Victor Hugo led this fight in the National Assembly, passing the first law on child labour in factories and workshops.

All over the world, men and women are defending this cause, leading governments and companies to reduce the number of children at work, or at least to limit their employment to safe tasks. In 1989, the UN adopted an International Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Today, there are signs of a general awareness of the reality of child labour and progress in the fight against it.

These efforts have borne fruit: “Child labour has fallen by 38% in the last ten years”, according to the ILO. However, it points out that “the Covid-19 pandemic has considerably worsened the situation”.

Let’s not give up

The outcome of this fight may be within our reach. If we all act together, from governments to consumers to all economic actors, we can win it.

“I say that society must spend all its strength, all its solicitude, all its intelligence, all its will, so that such things do not happen”, Victor Hugo told the National Assembly in 1849.

The institution of 1 May Day as an “international day of social demands” was decided in 1889 by the International Socialist Congress… following major social movements in the industrialised countries.

The NGO Human Resources Without Borders, committed to the fight against child labour, is launching an appeal on the occasion of the 1st of May 2021 to give back their childhood – education, health, games… – to all these working children.

Let us never forget that child labour does not make anyone rich: it “robs them of their future and perpetuates poverty within families”, says ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

Take action, Let’s all join the movement. And in the week of 10-16 June, when new global estimates of child labour are published, let’s share this refrain on social networks to give working children “a future, a smile, a future”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtdTTMtagwg

Press contact :

Estelle Eeckeman
06 87 63 76 46

About RHSF :

The NGO Human Resources Without Borders, a “general interest” association, aims to prevent the risks of child labour, forced labour and, more generally, indecent labour in subcontracting chains. HRWF relies on its international network to offer an effective field approach. It focuses on testing pilot prevention solutions with companies and their subcontractors, and sharing its expertise with all those working for decent work throughout the subcontracting chain.