World Day against Child Labour- Opening Campaign

12 June 2019

World Day against Child Labour – Opening Campagin was held on 11th of June 2019, at Pan Pacific Hotel, as with the theme named “Children shouldn’t work in the fields, but on dreams!”. The aim is to achieve a child labour free Myanmar in the coming decades, our reporter David Tanner got the detail of it.

Speaking at a media conference held ahead of World Day Against Child Labour, Rory Mungoven, International Labour Organisation (ILO) Liaison Officer in Myanmar said, "Poverty is one of the root causes for child labour, but there is still much that can be done to prevent it. We acknowledge efforts made by Myanmar to address child labour and encourage the implementation of the National Action Plan on Child Labour as a priority along with the ratification of ILO Convention 138 on the minimum age for employability.”

World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) is celebrated worldwide annually on 12 June to call attention to the global child labour challenges and to drive collective action and interventions that aims at ending all forms of child labour by 2025.

Joining ILO at the multi-sectoral WDACL statements during the opening event on June 11 at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Yangon were U Nyunt Win, Director-General, Factories and General Labour Laws Inspection Department (FGLLID), Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MOLIP); and Dr. Daw Kay Thi Kyaw, Director, the Department of Social Welfare; Alison Rhodes, (UNICEF): Aung Kyaw Myint, Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM): and representatives from the Agriculture Farmer Federation of Myanmar (AFFM-IUF), and Myanmar Industries Crafts and Services Trade Unions Federation (MICS-TUSF).

Myanmar is undertaking various reforms for multi sectorial development and the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population is committed towards the eradication of child labour by implementing the national-level programmed for Myanmar Child Labour Eradication Project and the formalization of hazardous work list for children," U Nyunt Win, Director-General. Factories and General Labour Laws Inspection Department, Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population.

From ILO Global survey on child labour, there are approximately 152 million children in child labour globally, of which 73 million are in hazardous work. These children and adolescents are deprived of a normal childhood, and are exposed to moral, health and social risks. Allowing these conditions to continue will in effect weaken the future workforce of each of the country. In Myanmar, widespread practice of child labour occurs in the agriculture (60.5%) and manufacturing (12%) sectors.

As part of the WDACL awareness raising campaign in Myanmar, MoLIP in collaboration with the ILO, and in partnership with development partners including the European Union Delegation in Myanmar, the Embassy of Switzerland, the Embassy of Australia, and UNICEF are organising a series of events throughout Myanmar starting June 9 to July 10. Commenting on the exhibition, EU Ambassador Kristian Schmidt said, "We are only children once! Going to school, playing, and dreaming during childhood - this makes us productive and strong adults, who can and must do their duty to abolish forced child labour.”