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Fly a kite to stop child labour

To mark World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June, Concern’s Stop Child Labour campaign is asking primary school children all over Ireland to fly a kite and help over 218 million child labourers worldwide.

The flying of kites will symbolise the setting free of these millions of child labourers. Want to get involved? Please email or phone 01 417 7740 for a campaigning and information pack.

Government commitments

Just seven years ago, government leaders from around the world made a promise that every child of primary school age would be enrolled in formal education by the year 2015. Half way to that date and sadly the number of children working full time has barely decreased at all.

According to the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour, for every six children in the world under the age of 18, one of them is a child labourer. Concern’s Stop Child Labour campaign is looking to ensure that every child, no matter which country they come from, has the right to go to school.

Child labour around the world

In nearly every region of the world, children are being forced to work instead of going to school. In Asia alone, there are over 100 million children between five and 14 years working regularly.

Child labourers are used in all sorts of jobs, from working as domestic servants, to making and carrying bricks, to mining and stitching carpets or footballs. The agricultural sector, however, is responsible for employing the largest number of children. In Asia, Africa and even in Europe, there are over 132 million children aged five to 14 years working long hours planting and harvesting crops, spraying pesticides and tending livestock.

What is Concern doing about child labour?

Concern’s Stop Child Labour campaign is working with groups around the world, in countries like India, Kenya, Honduras, Ethiopia, and many more to help end all forms of child labour by providing schools for children. In places where children are working, the campaign is asking that special “bridge” schools be started to help children adapt to the school environment.

In Europe, the Stop Child Labour campaign is made up of groups from seven countries who are asking politicians and business leaders not to support governments that allow child labour, by ensuring no child labour is used in the manufacturing of purchased goods.

Lack of education

Here in Ireland, Concern are working with children and young people all over the country to raise awareness of child labour and demonstrate how going to school can help break the poverty trap. According to the International Labour Organisation, every $1 invested in education is worth $7 to the national economy of the involved country.

Concern is also working with many other organisations and unions in the Irish Task Group Against Child Labour to ensure that the government and business community play their part in the elimination of child labour.

Concern is asking people everywhere to “look behind the label” and to ask retailers if any child labour was used in the making of the products their outlet is selling.