Mr. Satyarthi's struggle to get the world to commemorate one day against child labour
12th June: A Day When the World Stands United Against Child Labour
Today, there are 152 million children globally who are still engaged in horrific forms of child labour, even as countries and agencies strive to free these children. The global community commemorates World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June every year as a mark of the global movement to end this suffering.
This day came into being in 2002 when the International Labour Organisation (ILO), ratified Convention 182, one of the fastest ratified conventions in ILO’s history, on the worst, most exploitative forms of child labour. For Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, this was a tangible victory of a long moral crusade of 18 years.
Convention 182 was a result of the 80,000 km Global March Against Child Labour led by Mr. Satyarthi, which saw over 2 million participants marching across 103 countries. The March, one of the largest social movements ever held on behalf of exploited children, demanded the end of child labour and culminated on June 1, 1998 at ILO, Geneva. The hundreds of children and activists received a standing ovation from the 2000 delegates comprising labour ministers of 150 countries. The ILO agreed to pass an international legislation against an evil which at the time affected over 250 million children. For Mr. Satyarthi, this was a tangible victory of a long moral crusade of 18 years.
Mr Satyarthi also demanded that one day be marked as World Day Against Child Labour to remind each one of us to step up the struggle to free the world of child labour. And, in 2002, 12 June - World Day Against Child Labour came into being.
“I will see the end of child slavery in my lifetime”