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World Day Against Child Labour on 12th June



Due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) since 2020, even the children, who had been attending school, needed to help household affairs and business during the school closure or they were forced to work in the case their parents lost their jobs. According to the survey reported by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2021, the number of child labour, which had been declining so far, has risen for the first time in the last 20 years to reach 160 million. More children could be forced into child labour due to the recent social and economic crisis. Japan is no exception.

Under the circumstance, the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour was held in Durban, South Africa from 15th to 20th May, 2022 to ensure that COVID-19 epidemics, conflicts, food shortages and humanitarian crises do not stop the path to eradicating child labour. During the conference, the ‘Durban Call to Action’ to ensure strong international commitments on action against child labour was adopted including the followings:

 Make decent work a reality for adults and youth above the minimum age for work by accelerating multi-stakeholder efforts to eliminate child labour, with priority given to the worst forms of child labour.
 End child labour in agriculture.
 Strengthen the prevention and elimination of child labour, including its worst forms, forced labour, modern slavery and trafficking in persons, and the protection of survivors through data-driven and survivor-informed policy and programmatic responses.
 Realize children’s right to education and ensuring universal access to free, compulsory, quality, equitable and inclusive education and training.
 Achieving universal access to social protection.
 Increasing financing and international cooperation for the elimination of child labour and forced labour.
* Reference: International Labour Organization (ILO)

Education International, which Japan Teachers’ Union is affiliated with, made a statement on the World Day Against Child Labour and stressed teacher unions were key to ending child labour and making the right to education a reality. “Schools provide the best environment for all children. Children have the right to a quality education. They belong in school with their teachers and caring educators, not in the world of exploitation of child labour,” stated Education International General Secretary, David Edwards.

For the full statement, please refer to the following link.

Japan Teachers’ Union has been utilizing the international solidarity fund received from the membership and working together with related organisations to save the children working in cotton plantations in India etc. and provide them learning opportunities. JTU welcomes and supports the “Durban Action Request” and the “Stop! Child Labour Campaign 2022” and will continue to work together to eliminate child labour.

“Stop! Child Labour Campaign 2022”