Cecelia DeBroff: World Day Against Child Labour 2020; Voices of DCI Youth Leaders

On World Day Against Child Labor, people are called to recognize the hazardous realities of child labor. Most people understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has largely effected the global economy. Many people do not realize that the labor market shock trickles down to push millions of vulnerable children into child labor. These children now face even more difficult circumstances and longer work hours. The realities associated with child labor are detrimental to both health and development for children. The harmful effects of the pandemic have been unevenly distributed to the poorest countries and neighborhoods, making those who are already affected more susceptible to be victims of child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking. Today we recognize the issues regarding child labor. This is a day where we remember to ask questions, take action, and demand change from companies and organizations. How can we do this? Education is the first step. As consumers, we should seek information from the companies we purchase goods and services from. It is our responsibility to ensure we are not supporting companies that condone child labor business practices. As employees, we can take action by speaking up and demanding change internally.
It is our job to hold companies accountable for their corporate responsibilities. Companies must be held accountable for their commitments. Responsible supply chain practices will only be put in place if both the consumer and employee recognizes it and demands it. This is a responsibility we all must take on; to come together in the fight to end child labor. It is by also donating to Non-profit organizations, like DCI, that fight for children’s rights, education, healthcare, and income-generating opportunities. Use today, World Day Against Child Labor, to reflect on what you can do to change a child’s life—ask questions, educate yourself, take action, demand change, and donate what you can.

Cecelia DeBroff
Youth Leader, Distressed Children & Infants International (DCI)