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Temporary tattoos, kites and banners

By now I’d say that anyone reading my blog posts thinks I have an unhealthy obsession with large props and tattoos (despite not having any real ones myself!). If I do a bit of soul searching I might have to admit that you are right.

It’s World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June. This is why I’m getting my large placards, kites and temporary tattoos ready to raise awareness of this problem that doesn’t seem to be going away.

Marching in Dublin

Child labour is the issue that I certainly feel most passionate about. But it’s nothing compared to the pure emotion that a lot of children in Ireland feel for their peers in less fortunate parts of the world. You can witness it for yourselves at our march on Friday 12 June. It starts at 10.00am in the Irish Aid Centre on O’Connell Street.

A sense of urgency

What is particularly compelling about these young campaigners is their sense of urgency in stopping child labour. They’re the ones asking “why can’t we stop child labour? Why can’t governments give children free education? Why can’t businesses make sure they’re not using child labour?”

Economic sense

It costs so little to provide education for all children. Four days of military spending per year ($16 billion) would do it! It also makes economic sense to eliminate child labour. The International Labour Organisation has found that for every $1 invested in education, it comes back to a country’s economy seven-fold!

Socially responsible?

The business world has a huge role to play too. Corporate social responsibility doesn’t mean simply giving money to charity. It means living up to international regulations such as the core labour standards.

Yet there are very few companies or businesses standing up and claiming to be child labour free. It would be a win-win situation for any company who does make this claim. They’d not only be fulfilling their moral obligation but they would have a unique selling point and a huge customer base. Again, it makes economic sense.

A simple question

We all have a role to play, so please join us this 12 June and ask one simple question when you’re buying something: “is this child labour-free?” If you do happen to be shopping in Dublin’s city centre we may even give you a free tattoo!