Message from Dr. Ehsan Hoque, Founder and Honorary Executive Director, DCI: World Day Against Child Labour 2020

It is with great sorrow and urgency that we observe this day with you. Today, June 12th, is World Day Against Child Labour, established by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2002. The purpose of this day is to bring attention to the ongoing problem of child labor around the globe and to recommit ourselves to eradicating this horrible tragedy. Many organizations, including ours, have made great strides in combating child labor by providing resources to families and communities in need. Yet, in spite of our efforts, today 152 million children are victims of child labor and 73 million of these children are working in extremely hazardous conditions. The current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has made this year’s World Day Against Child Labour even more critical in raising awareness of this devastating situation. Poverty due to lost family income, malnourishment, increased risk of abuse, and lack of schooling, all pose dangers to children especially in developing nations around the world. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of vulnerable children will be forced to seek employment which will potentially undo the last two decades of our work.
At Distressed Children and Infants International (DCI), we are committed to our mission against child labor. On this day, in particular, we hope that everyone will take some time to engage with the cause.They can do so by educating themselves on this issue, volunteering at local nonprofits, or by donating to prevent child labor. As our world reels in this global pandemic, we must not forget the millions of children who are forced into dangerous work. Right now, our children need us more than ever! We cannot give up in the face of the harsh circumstances we face today! Let us all come together and take responsibility for evil practices that rob children of good lives! Let us come together to get these children out of fields, out of sex work, out of mines, and out of factories. It starts with us. It begins with a thought and reflection, which becomes awareness, that turns into positive, effective, transformative change. At DCI, we have supported these vulnerable children for 17 years and we will continue to stand beside them stronger than ever. We are confident that, together, we will be able to create a better world for children free from child labor.

Thank you,

Ehsan Hoque, MBBS, Ph.D.
Founder and Honorary Executive Director, Distressed Children & Infants International (DCI)