Tuesday, June 14, 2011

World Against Child Labor Day!

June 12th was World Against Child Labor Day celebrated around the world by million of children that organizations like Plan USA were able to save from hazardous working conditions. According to the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor, there are 115 million children currently working in hazardous working conditions making this issue of great significance. There has also been a recent rise in the number of older children working in hazardous conditions- an increase in 20 percent within 4 years! This issue MUST be given urgent attention in order to help reduce the number of children and adolescents suffering high rates of injury when working in unfair working conditions.

What do organizations suggest we do to address the problem of child labor in hazardous conditions?

We must take a life-cycle approach when dealing with the issues of child labor. This involves a stronger focus on ensuring that education and training policies prepare children for work life so as to acheive an effective school-to-work transition. If adolescents enter the workforce, there must be adequate safety regulations in place to ensure their safety and health. There must also be a wider knowledge of the internation labor standards spread throughout the world. Laws and regulations along with proper education for children, workers, and employers must be established and put into place.

Organizations like Plan USA are taking strides to ensure safer working conditions for many children in the workforce. Children in Shebedino, Ethiopia were celebrating World Day Against Child Labor now that a Plan project has helped protect them from hazardous work and enabled them to go to school. These children used to spend their days at the local clay makers crushing soil for hours with just sticks and stones. Because the soil and dust were so overwhelming, the young children would cough for hours because of this tiring work.

Plan USA provided this community with 1 diesel and 2 manual clay grinding soil machines and now many children do not have to hand crush the soil and can attend school full time! These manual crushers are safer and less tiresome than using a stick to crush the soil.
Here is a woman demonstrating how to operate the clay crushing machine provided by Plan!Check out the full article about Plan's work in Ethiopia here: http://www.planusa.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/2068673

Spread awareness about this issue at your school or tell your family and friends. Many of the companies that we buy clothes, food, and other items from support child labor and have many children working in sweat shops or under other unsafe working conditions. Check the labels and buy clothing that is made in America!

YUGA also has a FULL toolkit on what you can do in your school or at home to help stop child labor and get educated about the facts.
Check it out!

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