“Every child has the right to be protected from economic exploitation.” This is laid down in Article 32 of the UN Children’s Convention. But the reality for many boys and girls still looks very different: weaving carpets, cutting stones, ploughing plantations – an estimated 250 million children worldwide regularly work for several hours a day. More than 100 million of them toil under dangerous and exploitive conditions. These figures are based on estimates of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Germany is engaged at various levels against this violation of the human rights of the smallest and most vulnerable members of society. Since the early 1990s the German development cooperation has supported the international programme of the ILO for the abolition of child labour. The programme is now active in 88 countries and supports governments in implementing strategies to combat child labour.
For instance, in Burkina Faso. Approximately five per cent of all children there between the ages of six to fifteen live as migrant labourers, separated from their parents. The German programme in the African country funds education for children and provides socio-economic assistance to their families. Parallel to this, it returns victims of child trafficking to their home villages and re-integrates them into their families.
The campaign Active Against Child Labour of the association Earthlink is also active in Germany. It provides a list of companies with information about their positions on child labour.
World Day Against Child Labour, 12 June