World Day against Child Labour 2020

Today is just one day – however, child labour has countless different faces. And you have to talk to each and every one of them to design sustainable and effective policy interventions that contribute to the sustainable eradication of child labour.

Child Labour needs an open dialogue

As Time to Talk! we take this opportunity to remind politicians, unionists and companies worldwide, to establish an open dialogue about the different reasons, the different contexts and the different consequences of child labour. Not only, because working children have the right to be heard in any discussion relevant to their lives, but especially because they are the experts to consult, when matters of child labour are on the agenda.

This is even more important in the light of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Lock-Downs, Import Restrictions and economic Recession are going to impact working children’s lives tremendously. To know their struggles is to know how best to support them.

Many parents, caretakers and working children themselves have lost their jobs or are suffering from severe income cuts. This puts children even more at risk: working children within the Time to Talk! campaign pointed out that the main reason why they work is to support their parents and contribute to the familys income. As most of the children and their parents work in the informal sector, there is no security net for lost incomes like unemployment insurance, propper state support or private savings. As a result, the situation of children in vulnerable situations is getting even more complex.

Their families do not only need support for providing food and shelter for themselves and their children – they also might need support to purchase digital devices, or to pay for electricity, so children can participate in online education and stay in touch with their teachers, peers and friends:

“During the home schooling program, our teachers give our home work through an internet-based application. Sadly, my parents and I do not have money to purchase internet data. Therefore, I have to go to a bakery shop near my house in the morning to access free wifi from its parking lot.” (Girl from Medan, Indonesia)

To provide adequate and efficient emergency relief, the needs and demands of vulnerable groups have to be heard and acted upon.  Now, more than ever, it is Time to Talk!