Today is the World Day Against Child Labour – an imperative, still 168 million children are in child labour, more than half of them in hazardous jobs.
This World Day Against Child Labour draws attention to the essential role of social protection in keeping children out of child labour. The World Day 2014 calls for:
· Action to introduce and extend social protection floors and build social protection systems
· National social protection systems that are sensitive to children’s needs and help fighting child labour
The role of family and child benefits in keeping children out of child labour is now well established, particularly where cash benefits are combined with measures to ensure effective access to education and health care. Less well researched, yet nonetheless important, is the role of other elements of national social protection systems in preventing child labour, including universal health coverage, maternity protection, unemployment protection, disability benefits and old age pensions.
Social protection is an essential element of an integrated policy response to child labour, and is part of a broader policy agenda, as Aung San Suu Kyi highlighted in her video message for the World Day: "The best way to get rid of child labour is to make it unnecessary for the security of families. That is to say we have to provide families with the economic, social and political security that would make it unnecessary for them to use their children to secure their future. If we want to secure the future of our globe, we have to secure the future of our children and let us start by doing that to putting an end to child labour".
Read more on child labour and social protection
Senior Social Protection Policy Specialist
Social Protection Department
International Labour Office
4 Route des Morillons
1211 Geneva, Switzerland
Phone: +41 22 799 6455
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