The World Day Against Child Labour is about the employment and subsequent abuse of society’s most vulnerable members, Children. Since 2002, WDACL has targeted key elements that perpetuate the issue of youth employment such as: domestic work; drastic reforms in human rights laws and hazardous work environments.

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Photograph taken during filming of The True Cost

Today over 120 million children will find themselves ‘working’ in situations detrimental to both physical and mental health. At best these minors will find themselves working long hours on low income. At worst: prostitution and fighting in conflicts, reduced to cannon fodder and traded amongst militia like livestock, a situation that no one should find themselves in. Reported cases of child labour are thankfully in decline with figures showing a global reduction of cases by a third. However, there is still a lot to be done. This year the International Labour Organisation shifts its focus specifically toward education. Child labour is a disease on society, sustained by lack of education. The ILO hopes that by providing free compulsory education to minors they can instil skills that would prevent children from falling into the trap of low income work, a career path which typically leads those that transition to adulthood into utilising their own children in the same way just to provide for the family unit.

There are currently 71 million teens who have never attended school; these adolescents are not forgotten. WDACL and the ILO aim to provide opportunities for young adults struggling with illiteracy and low skill/low income employment by training them vocationally and promising them a better life. Teacher training is also on the agenda. By investing in all aspects of education the ILO believes they will see further reductions in reported cases of child labour exponentially. Skills will be handed down throughout communities and a higher quality of life could be attainable for those living in marginalised communities. Here at People Tree we care vitally about the plight of those whose lives are marred by economic disparity. Our recent collaboration with internet personality Bip Ling saw proceeds being donated to the Piyali Learning Centre, an institution set up to educate young girls in Piyali Junction, India, an area where female literacy is as low as 57%. Our production family KTS in Nepal have been able to maintain a technical school that fosters both academic and vocational education through the continued work People Tree is able to provide. Our sales of hand knitted clothing helps support this school. Which also provides their students with at least one meal a day.

The World Day against Child Labour is a cause we stand for all year round. For more information visit the official website at: www.ilo.org