World Day Against Child Labor
Let us unite and renew our efforts to remove the causes of this modern slavery that deprives millions of children of certain fundamental rights and exposes them to serious dangers. Today there are many child slaves in the world. – Pope Francis, June 2016
June 12, 2019 is World Day Against Child Labor.
The International Labor Organization defines child labor as work that deprives children and adolescents of their childhood, their education or training, their potential, their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.
Around the world, 152 million children are engaged in paid or unpaid work. These children can be particularly vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking. Their work is often hidden from the public eye, they may be isolated, or they may be working far away from their family home.
Poverty, along with lack of an education, is a social condition that makes it easier for human traffickers to operate. Children are often employed and exploited because, compared to adults, they are more vulnerable, cheaper to hire and are less likely to demand higher wages or better working conditions. Some employers immorally and falsely argue that children are particularly suited to certain types of work because of their small size and “nimble fingers.”
Let us pray for the youngest of our sisters and brothers who are exploited and for those working to end child labor.
International Labor Organization
World Fair Trade Organization
Debbie Weber, director