World Child Labour Day: Date, Theme, History, Significance, and Steps Taken to Eradicate Child Labour


World Child Labour Day, also known as Anti-Child Labour Day, is observed every year on June 12th. It aims to draw attention to the impact of the crisis of child labour.

The objective of World Day Against Child Labour on June 12th is to galvanize the growing anti-child labour movement worldwide. The theme for the 2023 World Day is “Social Justice for All,” highlighting the connection between social justice and child labour. The slogan for this year’s campaign is “Stop Child Labour!”

Our collective experience in combating child labour over the past three decades has shown that it is possible to end child labour by addressing its underlying causes. Now, more than ever, it is crucial for all of us to make a difference in finding solutions to everyday issues, with child labour being one of the most pressing ones.

The theme for the 2023 World Day Against Child Labour is “Week of Action Against Child Labour.” The International Labour Organization (ILO) plans to launch a week-long campaign this year to shed light on the injustice of child employment and inspire people to take action to end it. Each year, the ILO announces a new topic for the World Day Against Child Labour.

History of World Day Against Child Labour

The International Labour Organization established World Child Labour Day in 2002, and it has been observed annually since then worldwide.

Child labour has always been a problem as it robs children of their childhood and innocence. In an effort to increase public awareness of this issue, the International Labour Organization (ILO) designated June 12th as the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002. Recognizing the importance of this day, the UN declared 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.

World Day Against Child Labour

Significance of World Day Against Child Labour

The World Day Against Child Labour provides an opportunity to raise public awareness about the serious issue of child labour. Children who are forced to work are denied a “normal” childhood and are often subjected to hazardous and abusive conditions. It is essential to support and observe occasions like the World Day Against Child Labour to raise awareness and take action to eradicate child labour.

Child labour limits a child’s ability to grow and receive an education like other children. It can be mentally exhausting and places children in challenging circumstances. Many child labour practices are unfair, and child workers are often not adequately compensated.

Facts about Child Labour

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 152 million children worldwide are still exploited as child labourers, with a significant number of them working in domestic services, agriculture, mining, or the informal sector.

– Many of these children are forced to work long hours in hazardous conditions without access to healthcare, education, or basic rights and protections.

– The World Day Against Child Labour was established in 2002 following a resolution adopted at the ILO’s annual conference. Since then, it has become a vital tool for raising awareness about child labour and advocating for stronger policies, regulations, and initiatives to protect children from exploitation and abuse.

Role of International Organizations in Combating Child Labour

In 1991, the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPECL) was established under the International Labour Organization program to address child labour as a global issue through national platforms. India was one of the first countries to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with IPECL to support the fight against child labour.

As part of the National Child Labour Project (NCLP), which was launched in 1988, seven child labour initiatives were established across the country. Rehabilitation has been one of the main strategies employed by the Indian government to reduce child labour prevalence.