Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, January 18th, 2019

International Day against Child Labor

June 12 is observed as the International Day against Child Labor in different countries around the world. The day was basically launched by International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2002 in order to focus considerations on the important issue of child labor all over the world and highlight actions and determinations to eradicate this threat. On 12th June every year, NGOs, civil society organizations and media raise voices to highlight the troubles of the child labors and inspire governments and international organizations to carry out measures to control them.
As per the information from ILO there are around 215 million children around the world who are child laborers. Most of them work full time and do not get the opportunity to get education or be involved in any sports and have entertainment opportunities. The environment they work in is mostly inappropriate and, therefore, they are susceptible to maltreatment, delinquencies, violence, drug addiction and trafficking, and sexual exploitation. There are many among them who do not get even proper nutrition and medication. In brief, they do not avail any sort of opportunity to live like children and have suitable sustenance that can assist them in becoming energetic and optimistic members of the society.
This year the International Day against Child Labor is celebrated under the theme: End child labor in supply chains - It's everyone's business. ILO believes that with 168 million children still in child labor, all supply chains, from agriculture to manufacturing, services to construction, run the risk that child labor may be present. To support businesses in their actions to remove child labor from their supply chains, the ILO and the International Organization of Employers (IOE) have jointly created the Child Labor Guidance Tool, a resource for companies to increase their knowledge and ability to conduct business in line with international labor standards on child labor.
One of the basic reasons of the child labor is, undoubtedly, the growing poverty. The countries that suffer from poverty and instability have the highest ratio of child labor. Afghanistan is also among the same countries. According to a rough calculation around 6 million children in Afghanistan into child labor.
Child labors are exposed to crimes and maltreatment to a risky extent, especially the ones who are employed by shop-owners, mechanics and small firms. They are even put to violent treatment by their employers on pity matters. Further, another concerning factor regarding the plight of the children in Afghanistan is the growing number of child beggars.
Families, stricken with intense poverty, do not hesitate even to send their children for begging. Apart from that, there are professional beggars who utilize the helpless children for the begging purposes. The children are even abducted for the same purpose. The phenomenon of violence against children is multifaceted. It involves recruitment of children by armed forces and armed groups.
The involvement of armed forces in this regard is really embarrassing. The recruitment that is carried out by militant groups is mostly for the purpose of carrying out suicide attacks through them, who because of their immaturity or because of the intense pressure do not understand the incentive of their actions.
There have been many incidents of suicide attacks in different parts of the country, wherein the attacker were below 16 years of age. Apart from that the children are also welcomed by the militant groups with the intention to have a cadre that they can train in accordance to their own will, within their training camps.
It is important that the menace of child labor should be tackled before it is too late. However, the situation does not seem to be getting well as the poverty seems to be strengthening its root in the country and the government is not doing enough to curb the situation. According to a statement by the president of All Afghanistan Federation of Trade Unions (AAFTU), "Child labors are increasing and there are many reasons. First, the government has not done anything for them, which they must do; second, no investment took place in the country, which must be done; and the third one is the government does not pay attention to the wages of workers. All of these reason have caused the increase in child labor."
The proper nourishment of the children, their character development and their education are the most important considerations to contemplate on, if the government is really serious to safeguard the rights of the children. The same children are going to be the builders of future; their proper care should be ascertained through every possible means. Apart from the government the members of the society can also play a tremendous role in diminishing discrimination against the children, saving them from child labor, uplifting their morale and supporting them in becoming responsible members of the society.