For a Safe and Healthy Generation

“The change starts within each one of us, and ends only when all children are free to be children.”

Craig Kielburger

This year’s World Day Against Child Labour will be celebrated with a “Week of Action”, marked from 10-17 June 2021. But is child labour still an issue today?

Throughout the world, millions of children are deprived of childhood, quality education, mental, physical and social well-being. Child labour is a crime. They are forced to work at a very young age and assuming the same responsibilities as adults. What are the main causes? In most cases, it is a situation of financial difficulty, when children work to increase the income of the family. It has various other reasons from poverty, lack of access to education to limited rights of children. Child labor is also deeply ingrained in the production of goods and it is an enormous challenge to avoid it.

Educate Yourself and Others

How can we help? Raise awareness and take action. Modern slavery is not happening only in dark corners of far off places but it is a reality, an unrestrained issue today.

Nearly 1 in 10 children are subjected to child labour worldwide, with some forced into hazardous work through trafficking. (UNICEF for every child)

On the Europeana website, you can find very carefully curated Gallery material by Europeana Common Culture partners entitled Children at Work and lesson plans from Historiana using photos from the Gallery.

Child labour in the Industrial Revolution aims to look at legislation around child labour and then take part in a debate to help form their own opinions.

The Right to Be a Child  focuses on present child labour introducing documents written in the 20th and 21st centuries to protect children’s rights.

Creating a safe school environment

Abandoning corporal punishment and creating a caring environment for students encouraged them to get more engaged, enthusiastic and communicative. The school climate is not only responsible for the student’s academic performance but also for nurturing children’s mental health and self-esteem.  I think the most important aspect of creating a positive learning environment is the rapport between the teacher and students. We should accept and admit if we make mistakes, laugh even when we feel frustrated so that children would feel more comfortable asking questions and taking risks.

Here we have some inspiring learning scenarios from the blog:

Children Stories from the Past, a scenario from Italy by @marilinalonigro uses augmented reality for storytelling by using Metaverse and tells different stories from Victorian England.

Jobs… From The Dusty Pages of History to Modern Times , a Turkish learning scenario by @guldogan, aims to create awareness about the changes happening in some professions due to technological developments and industrial reforms. 

Education in the Middle Ages: the Birth of Modern Schooling by @emanuelaleto focuses on school education and its importance and provides students with the opportunity to reflect upon the importance of schooling.

Experiencing the Revolution of 1956 as a Child by @melindapszabo  follows with her students three children who had to leave their home country after the failure of the revolution. They have an insight into their feelings, thoughts and experiences through three interviews.

The great war through children’s eyes by @theodora aims to develop empathy regarding the living condition during the Great War.  Students also make a comparison between WW1 and the recent war in Syria, with a focus on the lives of refugee children.

Lewis Hine photography – Girl Carrying Homework thro Greenwich VillageRijksmuseumPD

Some child labour facts to help you understand the issue:

It is estimated that there are 152 million victims of child labour, worldwide

Almost half of all child labourers are between ages 5 and 11

Approximately 4.3 million children work in forced labour

62 per cent of child labour victims are boys, however, the number of girls is underreported because they’re often involved in “hidden” forms of work, such as domestic labour

71 per cent of child labour victims are in agriculture: fishing, forestry, livestock herding, commercial farming.

17 per cent of child labour victims are in services: sex trafficking and tourism, domestic services, food services, housekeeping.

12 per cent are in the industry: sweatshops, factories, mining, brick making, stone quarries.


Hopefully the UN member states will honour the commitment to ending all forms of forced labour, modern slavery and child labour by 2025.

by @katalinlorincz

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Wellcome Collection .

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