Action Pledge to End Child Labour
2021 is the United Nations designated Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. Any work that deprives children of their childhood is defined as child labour. A child who is forced to work instead of play loses her easy laughter and her chance to learn in curious and creative ways. But for some children and families, they have to work because their survival depends on it.
There are currently 40 million people in modern slavery and 160 million children in child labour. Sadly child labour has increased from 152 million, the first time in two decades according to the joint Report released by UNICEF and the International Labor Organization (ILO) in June 2021. Furthermore, there are now 79 million children aged 5 to 17 years in hazardous work. More than one in four children in the world’s poorest countries are engaged in work that is potentially harmful to their health.
Target 8.7 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals calls for us to work together to end these unacceptable violations of human rights. Members of our Mary Ward network are already supporting and advocating for children working in the brickfields, in hidden domestic labour situations and other agricultural contexts.
In line with our commitment to the elimination of human trafficking and the care of women and children, we joined the global alliance and pledged to act to Eliminate to Child Labour by raising awareness and inspiring local actions among our global network of over 50,000 students, staff and members.
Read our Action Pledge launched in June 2021.
Download our Mary Ward Family Action Pledge Toolkits below.
June Tool Kit on Child Labour in the Fashion Industry was created by our network in the United Kingdom coordinated by Kathryn Keigher ibvm with contributions from Anna Martin, Kristina Farquharson, Elisabeth Hall, Sophie Hetherington, Elizabeth Nzuki, Naomi Wood, Headteacher: Mrs Jane Beever (Loreto Grammar School Altrincham), Ria Tiwana, Tindra Brash-Hall, Headteacher: Ms Charlotte Avery (St Mary’s School Cambridge).
July Tool Kit on Child Labour in the Chocolate Industry and in Timor Leste and Vietnam was created by our network in Australia coordinated by Anne Muirhead with contributions from Janeen Murphy, Leonela Tilman and Margaret Mary Flynn ibvm.
November Toolkit on Child Labour in the Brick Kilns and Domestic Labour in India and Nepal was created by: Province Representatives: Smitha Muttu cj (Nepal), Ancy Vilakumaruthumkal cj (Patna), Prabina Rudum ibvm (India); KMWSC Team: Nabonita Shome and Rina Kumari Singh; JPIC South Asia: Arvind Kaur, Kawaljeet Kaur and Sanchayita Dey; JPIC Nepal: Sita Bisukarma and team, with the contributions of grade 9 students from St. Mary’s School Pokhara, St. Mary’s school Biratnagar and St. Mary’s school Gorkha (Nepal). We also acknowledge the assistance of Matilda Lakra ibvm and the contributions of IBVM/CJ students (India). Infographics were created by Riya Bhargava.
December Toolkit on Child Labour features Child’s Rights and Business Principles (The Principles) developed by UNICEF. The final toolkit is a timely reminder as we celebrate Human Rights Day on December 10. The toolkit was created by Zinzi Malanca together with IBVM Loretto Canada Province Representative Sarah Rudolph ibvm.