Save the Children Canada

Save the Children Canada

June 12, 2013 09:36 ET

World Day Against Child Labour: Protecting Working Children from Harm

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 12, 2013) - Today the international community marks World Day Against Child Labour, to recognize the millions of children engaged in work that deprives them of their rights and is harmful to their physical and mental development. This year's focus is on children who participate in domestic work, often in the homes of distant relatives or even strangers, in an effort to earn a small amount of money, food, or other things that children may require to grow and develop. However, the risk is that these children are particularly vulnerable to harm and exploitation as their work is often hidden from view, sometimes far from their family and community.

"For over 30 years, Save the Children has been addressing the needs of working children," said Patricia Erb, President and CEO of Save the Children. "Our response is two-fold: First, we protect children from the most dangerous forms of work, such as sexual exploitation. Second, we support children in situations where they must work to ensure that all their rights - including protection, education, and play - are realized."

For example, Save the Children's Children Lead the Way program, which supports working children in Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Nicaragua, and Peru, brings formal and informal education to children who work. The program also supports child-led organizations which equip children to advocate for their rights, and creates children's clubs to allow working children to be protected, to learn and to play.

"Not all forms of work are dangerous and exploitative, but there are still far too many children whose rights are being violated in the workplace," said Ms. Erb. "Most workplaces can be improved to ensure that where children have to work, their rights are protected."

To this end, in 2012, Save the Children partnered with UNICEF and the UN Global Compact to develop the Children's Rights and Business Principles - the first comprehensive set of principles to guide private sector companies on the full range of actions they can take in the workplace to respect and support children's rights.

"I speak to many children who tell me that work is important to their lives," said Olivia Lecoufle, Child Protection Officer at Save the Children. "Where work is dignified - it respects their rights, creates space for learning, and builds their sense of belonging - it can help children contribute to their families, create links to the community, and build life skills, self-esteem and a sense of pride."

About Save the Children

Save the Children is the world's leading independent organization for children, delivering programs and improving children's lives in 120 countries worldwide. Working toward a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation, Save the Children's mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. Learn more at and

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