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Woe to anyone who stifles children’s joyful impulse to hope Pope Francis says on World Day against Child Labour

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“Children must be able to play, study and grow in a peaceful environment. Woe to anyone who stifles their joyful impulse to hope!” Pope Francis tweeted on the occasion of World Day against Child Labour. On 12 June, each year governments, organizations, civil society, in addition to millions of people from across the globe highlight the plight of child labourers and discuss ways to help children suffering from this scourge

UN World Day against Child Labour

On June 11, 2014 Pope Francis held International Labour Organization ILO’s red booklet like a referee’s red card during his general audience. The booklet had the words “All together against child labour,” written on it.

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On June 12, 2013 the Pontiff censured the exploitation of children as domestic workers. He termed it as “a true slavery” during his general audience. “All children, must be able to play, study, pray and grow in their own families, and this in a harmonious context of love and serenity.”

In 2002, the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in order to highlight the global magnitude of child labour and the efforts required to eliminate it. In 2015, the world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including a reintroduced global commitment to ending child labour.

In detail, the target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals urges the international community to: “Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.”

Facts and figures reveal that about 218 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 years are in employment across the globe. About 152 million have fallen a prey to child labour; almost 73 million child labourers are employed in hazardous work.