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Education provides insight to make life better. Yet not everyone gets the opportunity to do so. It is safe to say that without education we can’t flourish in any activity. So education is very essential when it comes to making amends, for example, to abolish child labor today.

It is pretty evident that lack of education is the gateway to many problems. There are many problems prevailing in our society and child labor is one of them. To abolish child labor today, a good education is key as it brings awareness and helps the children get better opportunities.

Children, in Nepal and around the globe, still work laboriously and against their will in various brick kilns, factories, restaurants, and public transportation. Owing to the deprivation of education, they are not aware of their rights. And the people who make them work are unaware as well, making the situation even dire.

Statistics shows:

In Nepal, there are 1.6 million children between (5-17 years) engaged in one or other forms of child labor, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO). Out of them, 621,000 children are estimated to be engaged in hazardous work and 373,000 of them are girls (that’s 60 percent). Meanwhile, 770,000 children aged 5-12 years are still out of school.

This not only shows the government’s failure to provide education to all but it’s emphasis to abolish child labor by its roots. Though the Government of Nepal has assured many rights to children under ‘The Children Act 1992’, the first ever act concerned with children rights.

According to the Act, every child has the right to identity, non-discrimination, non-exploitation, protection, education and development, juvenile justice to upbringing, development and the protection of the child. However, child labor today is still prevalent in our society. And children are still suffering and surviving in misery.

Children as Highway Hawkers in Kathmandu, abolish child labor

A child, working as one of the many highway hawkers in Kathmandu, selling water bottles in vehicles as seen in Kalimati. Photo: Salina Upreti

People now are influenced by modernization as well as socialization process. And educated people most likely educate their children as well. Compared to the past, people nowadays have easier access to education and we can see its impact on them which has helped to reduce and eliminate many problems of society. However, there are still many children, who are deprived of education. Consequently, giving wings to child labor even more.

Many statistics have shown that countries where children lack education, child labor exists more. So we can say education is a tool to abolish child labor today. Hence, we need to make it accessible in every nook and corner of the nation and the world.

Campaigns to start abolishing child labor today:

With the motive to eradicate child labor, every year on June 12th ‘World Day Against Child Labor’ is celebrated around the globe. They launch many campaigns to promote and protect children living under different circumstances. ILO conducts various campaigns for the welfare of the children on this day. This year’s theme is ‘Children shouldn’t work in fields but on their dreams’.

Other campaigns conducted to ensure children’s safety and to abolish child labor in the past few years in different places of Nepal include:

  1. ‘Child labor-free transport’ campaign last year to make public transportation child labor-free.
  2. District Child Welfare Committee started a campaign in Dhankuta with the slogan ‘Children commit mistakes, not crimes’.
  3. In Morang, a campaign to create awareness against child labor in brick factories.
  4. On April 2019, ‘Green Flag’ campaign in Doti to end the practice of child labor.
Children smiling. campaigns to abolish child labor

Photo: Unsplash/ Bennett Tobias

All the campaigns launched emphasized more on education for children in an attempt to abolish child labor from our society.

“Child is meant to learn, not to earn”. Importance of education is necessary to stress so that no child gives up on his/her dreams. It is up to us to give children the environment where they, under any circumstance, involve in child labor today. We have to give them a healthy upbringing so that they can evolve into capable individuals of society and contribute. Else their future and the world’s will be doomed.

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