World Day Against Child Labour 2015
In 2002, The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour to bring international attention to the issue of child labor. Every year on June 12, the world comes together to work towards combating this crisis. Child labor is a problem that plagues some of the poorest regions of the world. And Nablus is no exception. Children feel pressure to help support their families and often, children must forgo schooling in order to work and make money. Workplaces where children frequent - factories, landfills, markets and streets - are not safe environments. Laboring can negatively affect a child's education, limiting his potential to grow and and become successful in the future. Students end up spending all of their free time working instead of studying, or spending no time in school at all.
The 2015 World Report on Child Labour has startling statistics (click the download link at the bottom of this page to view the full report) that shed light on the subject. The World Report states that "children benefiting from good education and from a healthy developmental environment are more likely to be equipped with the necessary competencies and life skills to make a successful transition to working life during adolescence and early adulthood." The report continues to explain, "Hazardous work among adolescents who are above the general minimum working age but not yet adults (i.e. those in the 15–17 years age group) constitutes a worst form of child labour and a violation of international labour standards." With regards to Palestine in particular, studies reveal that early school leavers, particularly children under the age of 15, are at greater risk of remaining outside the world of work altogether as adults, by nearly 50%. Jordan and Egypt are also facing challenges as the majority of their adolescent laborers are involved in hazardous work: 61.3% and 64.4% respectively.
The report continues by saying, "Children are not simply smaller adults, they are physically and mentally different; and regardless of cultural perceptions or social construct, the transition to biological adulthood extends past puberty well into the late teen years." Communities must work together to understand this basic biological principle. It is our responsibility as families, parents and community members to protect our children, to foster a love of learning and to promote education. Parents need to become better informed about the harmful affects of child labor. At TYO, The Women's Group allows us to help mothers work towards raising healthy, happy children. We will continue to support children's psychosocial needs, academic well-being among all community members and educating mothers. We hope you will too.