Labiba Zahin: World Day Against Child Labour 2020; Voices of DCI Youth Leaders

Every child deserves a chance at happiness. However, many children combat obstacles- disease, disabilities, lack of access to quality education, and other facilities– that may seem insurmountable. Sadly, not every child gets to enjoy a full childhood. Too many childhoods are still being cut short. Every child bound by basic fundamental rights. These rights apply to every child, irrespective of his/her parent’s race, color, gender, or creed. So, why are child rights important?

Children are impressionable and full of hope. Their childhood is meant for being joyful and loving. Yet the reality of childhood is altogether different for many children. Abuse and exploitation have been faced by children all throughout history. They starve from hunger and homelessness, suffer from harmful working conditions, die of high infant mortality, receive inadequate health care, and have limited opportunities for quality education.
A child need not live such a life. Children have the right to develop, be protected, and participate in decisions that affect their lives.

Child labor is a multifaceted issue with different socio-economic and political causes- lack of access to education, weak enforcement of laws, lack of women’s empowerment, poverty, and insufficient social protection for poverty-stricken people. Above all of that, a grave pandemic has been added to the list. People all over the world are being engulfed by the vicious cycle of poverty, which is likely to push millions of children into labor.

For unlocking their full potential, children require a safe and supportive environment where they can thrive. It is this time of crisis that calls for us to action. There has never been a more important time to educate and empower the next generation with knowledge about their rights. Every small contribution can add up to a significant positive impact. Taking social media as a valuable platform to speak out against child labor and sponsoring a child’s education could be the initial steps towards achieving this goal. I hope with all my heart to wake up to a world that has eradicated all forms of child rights violation. It is my belief that we can make this happen if we are firmly united in this mission together!

Labiba Zahin
Youth Leader, Distressed Children & Infants International (DCI)