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World Day against Child Labour

CHILDLINE 1098 SERVICE » News and Events » Campaigns »
Say No To Child Labour » Updates across India » World Day against Child Labour 2013

World Day against Child Labour

World Day against Child Labour is an event endorsed by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Each year June 12th is dedicated to the empowerment of children against all forms of child labour.

CHILDLINE, India’s only helpline service in the country that rescues and rehabilitates thousands of child labourers a year, comes to the forefront on days such as ‘World Day against Child Labour’. The objective remains the same. To create awareness amongst the public on the evils of Child Labour and enthuse people to stand up against the harm caused to children. In an endeavour to create hype on the subject, CHILDLINE conducted a national campaign which encouraged people to collaborate with our teams and distribute our poster amongst bypassers at railway stations, owners of dhabas, residential complexes etc which are hotspots of child labour.

World Day against Child Labour

Mumbai, Maharashtra

CHILDLINE in Mumbai conducted outreach programs all over the city. After an inauguration ceremony at Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) Station, the teams spread across 7 Railway Stations in Mumbai: Borivali, Bandra, Dadar, CST, Byculla, Kurla and Thane.

During the inauguration at CST, CHILDLINE was accompanied by other players in the industry working on children’s issues: Salaam Balak, Yuva, CCDT (Committed Community for Development Trust), Pratham, Apne Aap, World Vision and Hamara Foundation. All the NGO’s got together and spoke to the children about ill-effects of Child Labour and the importance of why it needs to end!

Other eminent people who spoke at the inauguration were Ms. Zareen Gupta, Trustee of Salaam Baalak, Mr. Girase, District Officer of the Women and Child Development and the Senior Police Inspector of the Government Railway Police. In spite of heavy rains and a bustling railway station, the event at CST was a great success.

One of the main attractions of our campaign was the CHILDLINE van which has been sponsored by HPCL. The van took our teams all across the city, from one railway station to another to undertake outreach programmes. The objective was to spread awareness about the event, specifically against Child Labour and what better than a mobile vehicle moving across Mumbai!

The outreach program at railway stations were designed to attract maximum number of people. With the help of the Government Railway Police, a stall/ chaos was set up for CHILDLINE officials at each station platform where CHILDLINE officials spoke bypassers about World Day against Child Labour. The railway stations chosen to conduct the programme were based on a survey that showed these Railway Stations had the highest number of child labourers.

All in all, the event ran throughout the day and was seen as a success. In terms of spreading awareness, CHILDLINE managed to get the message across to as many Mumbaikars as possible!

- Complied by Nicolette D’Souza (Intern, CHILDLINE India Foundation)

Chamba, Himachal Pradesh

CHILDLINE Chamba worked in partnership with the Education Department and the media to bring to light the importance of education in eradicating child labour. Along with conducting a number of outreach programmes, CHILDLINE pasted and distributed the ‘Say NO to Child Labour’ posters in strategic places such as bus stops, shops and dhabas. This was done to create sensitivity among all sections of the society. The theme of this campaign was both timely and relevant and allowed CHILDLINE to bring to the forefront gross child rights violations.

World Day against Child Labour

The objective was to generate awareness among students across schools on various issues related to children. Participants were briefed beforehand on the role of CHILDLINE and how does it work in India through its emergency helpline number, 1098. It was explained how ILO celebrates this day every year with a mandate to advocate the significance of implementing strong laws for the protection and care of children, and how CHILDLINE has adopted this campaign too.

Students from different schools were asked to present their views on the topic on this day. 10 enthusiastic participants expressively spoke about child vulnerability in society and how each one of us should play an important role in supporting children in need. One of the students, Vishal Katoch spoke on ‘Combating Child Labour in India’. He said “children have the right to a joyful childhood. Every child has the right to grow up in a safe environment with protection and guidance from their parents. Whether in the cities or in villages, at home or in schools, a child is always a child and deserves a childhood free from exploitation and abuse. Yet millions of children are being robbed of their childhood every day. With an estimated 12.6 million children engaged in hazardous occupations, India has the largest number of child laborers under the age of 14 in the world”. Vishal affirmed that “the future should be safeguarded from this abuse by having practical contributions to support and respect the dignity of children”.

This initiative by CHILDLINE created a sense of responsibility not only among the adults but also amongst the student body. The enthusiasm and zeal with which they spoke about the cause was commendable. All the students were awarded for their participation in the campaign and their insightful thoughts. But, what the children took back from this dialogue and what they aim to give back to society was a lot more rewarding.

Back to school

CHILDLINE Chamba through its efforts has unraveled a lot of child labour cases recently. The campaign held by them generated a trickledown effect in many places across Chamba.

Anoop Kumar, from a small village in Khawada, 30 km away from the district headquarters of Chamba lived with his maternal uncle after his parents passed away. His sister lived with their grandparents who were not in a position to care for both the children together. An excellent student of the 9th grade, Anoop was told by his uncle that he could no longer pay his school fees. A heartbroken Anoop was forced to drop out of school in the middle of the term and work in a shop near his village as arranged by his uncle. 14 year old Anoop was miserable with his situation. He wanted to study further and play with his friends. Instead he was being made to work for a living.

Learning about Anoop’s plight, a CHILDLINE volunteer informed the team about his story. The team visited the boy’s uncle and let him know that since Anoop was only 14 years old he had no right to push him into labour. The uncle and his family were counseled over this matter and at the end of the discussions they agreed to let Anoop continue his studies instead of making him work. CHILDLINE informed the Education Department about Anoop and requested them to have him enrolled in a school.

CHILDLINE in its effort also offered Anoop a school kit which would help in lessening the burden of his poor family. Today Anoop is pleased that he doesn’t have to work at a shop anymore and can spend that time gaining knowledge and playing with his friends.

Kolkata, West Bengal

World Day against Child Labour was conducted with great vigor and enthusiasm across different areas in Kolkata. The focus was ‘education for all children’ to ensure that children remain in school and not at work. While the mandate remained to ‘Say NO to child labour’, the team conducted various awareness drives to educate stakeholders on child labour laws in India and sensitize people on the perils of child labour.

World Day against Child Labour

In the Sealdah area of Kolkata, banners depicting the goals of CHILDLINE were set up all around the area so as to draw the attention of people. On the busy streets, child volunteers were given placards to hold, illustrating various messages such as ‘Stop Child Labour’, ‘Child Labour is a crime’, etc. The programme was inaugurated by a parade of local children marching through the outer areas of Sealdah, spreading awareness and drawing attention of the local people. At the end of the march, a CHILDLINE member spoke about World Day Against Child Labour and how child labour is a punishable offence. People also got acquainted with the CHILDLINE service. They were urged to call CHILDLINE if they saw a child who was in need of assistance. The children performed a play to enlighten the viewers on the evils of child labour. Therafter, there was an interactive session with the audience, many of whom had questions which were answered by the team. The local children were the most enthusiastic participants of the lot, taking part throughout the campaign by distributing CHILDLINE and Anti-Child Labour leaflets and posters. They interacted with the child labourers they met on the street and motivated them to raise their voice against child labour and to go to school.

The CHILDLINE team also took the campaign to the Kalighat temple area. The team interacted with the temple priests and the shop owners in the area about CHILDLINE, to help putting an end to child labour and early marriage of girls. The campaign moved on to the local community where over 100 adults and 50 children were addressed on the issue of child labour. The team focused on strategic market places like Kidderpore Market, Fancy Market, Five Star Market etc which housed a larger number of child workers. The team pasted posters and CHILDLINE stickers at different shops, police barricades, electricity poles, etc. and also distributed awareness materials within the community. During the awareness programme, the team observed that about 800 showed keen interest in the subject and were supportive of the programme.

They promised to support CHILDLINE against child labour.

Many child labourers were engaged in odd jobs like working in cycle repair shops, tea shops, selling cigarettes etc. in the Babughat district of Kolkata. This location needed an awareness drive on child labour. Babughat is also a ritual spot, making the place sensitive to begging, child abuse and other petty crimes. As it is also the terminus for the interstate bus services, it made the place all the more sensitive to inter-state trafficking. The CHILDLINE team put up a kiosk and a standee to sensitize the nearby slum people, general public, bus drivers, PCO owners and street children on the ill effects of child labour. They were able to reach out to about 500 people including 100 children on the subject. The team also provided information about CHILDLINEs toll free number 1098 and explained the importance of the number in protecting children.

The significance of World Day against Child Labour is important so as to highlight children's concerns through the media and the civil society. This in turn makes the government aware on the real number of child labourers in the country. Child Labour has been a peril to our society consistently. We ourselves witness this evil everyday. 12th June reminds us that we have the choice to voice our concerns against Child Labour. The only question is; are we willing to go the extra mile?

World Day against Child Labour

Children in Mandi carry out a rally in support of CHILDLINE on the occasion of World Day against Child Labour.

World Day against Child Labour

Thank you HPCL!

On the occasion of World Day against Child Labour, we’d like to thank HPCL for providing us vans in Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi which have helped us in rescuing many children and conducting various outreach programmes across India.

The Vans played an active part for creating awareness on the issue of child labour!