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Happily ever after?

There are at least 215 million children working in dangerous and unfair conditions.  Many of these children are trafficked from country to country, which makes it even harder to keep track of them. It’s World Day Against Child Labour on June 12, so Concern is taking action against these appalling conditions.

I was reminded of child labour while reading my four year-old daughter a bedtime story. Much to my disgust, she told me she wants to be Cinderella when she grows up! I was so disappointed because of the conditions the character faced. She had such a hard time working 14 to 16 hours a day. And not only was she was abused and mistreated by her stepmother and the ugly sisters but she was also deprived of an education… just like so many of the children who are forced to work in terrible conditions around the world.


The story of these children is more like a nightmare than a fairytale. Of course, none of these millions of child domestic workers (90% of whom are girls) have a fairy godmother. The wicked stepmother of child workers is their lack of access to an education. 

And unfortunately, these child workers also have the ugly sisters of apathy and lack of political will. When I say apathy, I mean how little action is taken against child labour. By lack of political will, I mean the reluctance of governments to make laws to protect child workers.

Stop child labour

It could all be so different. The single most powerful solution to child labour is education. €10 billion per year would be enough to send every child to school.

Concern has been taking part in the Stop Child Labour campaign. This campaign has led to new proposed ILO Convention for child domestic workers, which should make a huge difference.

But there is still a long way to go. So on 12 June, get involved to give these children a chance of a happily ever after.