“Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams!”
This is the theme for ‘World Day Against Child Labour’ in 2019. This day was marked as an important day for child human rights in 2002 by the International Labour Organization (ILO). This year, the ILO is celebrating 100 years of work done to address social issues and to promote decent work conditions all over the world.
Inspite of this, today 152 million children between the ages of 5 to 17 years are engaged in activities as ‘child labour’. Most do not have the means to attend school and have very little or no time to play. Among these children, many don’t have access to a nutritious diet and basic hygiene. They are forced to work while they should be focusing on learning, growing and playing.
In Cambodia, children from the poorest families are forced to work, sometimes doing activities that place them in danger. According to ILO, 313,000 children are victims of exploitation, such as drug trafficking and prostitution. Others work in fields, in factories or in construction, instead of attending school, playing with their friends or spending quality time with their families. Because of this many children in Cambodia are deprived of a healthy childhood essential for the overall well being of children in the long run.
The ILO has set standards with regard to children involved in any kind of economic activity by classifying that “only non-hazardous light work should be carried out by those between the ages of 15 and 17”. However, many people in Cambodia are still not aware of this rule or they choose to ignore it on purpose.
The World Day Against Child Labour aims to raise awareness around this issue and mobilise the masses towards the cause.
The key to end child labour is education. With access to quality education, children can find decent jobs once in adulthood. And because they won’t be living in extreme poverty anymore, their own children won’t be forced to participate in the family revenue.
At Anjali House, we believe that no child should be forced to work. Our Education Program aims to teach our students specific skills which are going to be useful in the future, such as life skills, soft skills, living values, English, Computers and budgeting. We also encourage them to analyse situations and develop critical thinking. Plus, our Young Adults Program prepares our students for the job market.
We also support families and provide financial aid in case of emergencies. This way children don’t have to work to support their family in critical situations.
In 2018, none of our students under 16 years old were working compared to 36% of Cambodian children aged from 5 to 14, according to UNICEF.
It is really important for us that our children have the means to spend 100% of their time to being a child. They should be enjoying their childhood and dreaming about their future peacefully.
The Cambodia Government has committed itself to end child labour in Cambodia. In order to achieve this goal, it requires support from organisations within the country too. But organisations such as ours need financial support from it’s donors to make sure that every child can focus on learning, playing and dreaming.
You can join this worldwide movement with us and contribute to ending exploitation of children.
Because children shouldn’t be working, except on their dreams.
You can support us by donating to our cause: