On the occasion of World Day against Child Labour, Federal Government Human Rights Commissioner Markus Löning issued the following statement today (11 June):
It is horrifying that 215 million children around the world have to work every day to support themselves or their families. They labour in quarries, cotton fields or textile factories, are abused as servants or soldiers, their bodies are sold.
Around the world, 177 states have ratified the Convention on the worst forms of child labour. Yet we are seeing today that children are still being abused and exploited as cheap labour, for example in the cotton fields in Uzbekistan, at sewing machines in Bangladesh, making clay bricks in Pakistan or harvesting cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire.
We need to do more to give children a life that allows them to be children. They should be able to go to school and learn, play and meet their friends. We can all do our bit here. When you buy a t-shirt, ask about the conditions in the factory.
Moreover, we need to combat the main cause of child labour, namely the poverty endured by parents. That is the German Government’s most important development policy goal.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the first World Day against Child Labour in 2002 held on 12 June ever since. The aim is to draw attention to the fate of millions of children all across the world.
177 states have now ratified ILO Convention no. 182 on the worst forms of child labour, 166 states have ratified Convention no. 138 on the minimum age for admission to employment and work.
On the World Day against Child Labour, Markus Löning is meeting Ms Raschidowa, ombudswoman for human rights of the Uzbek Parliament, and will talk to her about the children who are forced to work at the annual cotton harvest.