Abolition of Child Labour
The quality of life in a country must begin with children and youths. However, poverty, the reinforcement of social inequality, and prejudice stimulate an increase in child labor. In 2020, International Labor Organization (ILO) found that 160 million children—almost one in ten children worldwide—were child laborers. With this startling development, the UN prioritizes stopping child labor in all forms, making it a part of SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. Within the said SDG, target 8.7 aims to eliminate all forms of child labor by 2025.
CYCLE OF POVERTY
Child laborers mostly come from low-income families, which are generally deprived of education. A study by the ILO found that early entry into the workforce reduces lifetime earnings by 13 to 20%. Hence, when children lack schooling, all sectors must cooperate to break the cycle by encouraging children to have greater access to education. Therefore, as they grow, they gain better employment and an excellent position to encourage their children or families to get educated. TACKLING CHILD LABOUR
Eradicating child labor requires cross-sector cooperation. This starts with the Government's contribution to law enforcement and essential infrastructures to reducing child labor. Other methods are strengthening the family, raising children, increasing access to a quality education system, supporting poverty reduction strategies, and social protection such as the social security system. The private sector could also provide social protection, such as the social security system, the health insurance system, the pension system, the child allowance, the welfare allowance for the disadvantaged, such as the poor and the disabled, and the unemployment insurance system. In addition, corporate sustainability begins with the company's economic value, which necessitates that its operations be founded on fundamental obligations in multiple areas, such as human rights, labor, and the environment. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) can be implemented and adapted by businesses, helping eradicate child labor. Establishing methods for monitoring Due Diligence in their supply chains to prevent loss and addressing human rights violations in their operations will help prevent child labor.
"No parent should ever have to look at a tiny infant and fear that one day that child would be a victim of exploitative child labor," said John Kerry, former US Secretary of State. Eradicating child labor is not just one person's job; it should be a shared responsibility for civil society, businesses, and governments.
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