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Not every child has a family that can feed them and give them the love they need. In many cases, and not just in third world countries, these boys and girls also have to contribute to the maintenance of the home. Today, World Day Against Child Labour, you can talk to your children about this topic and explain to him the realities of other families.

With the global COVID-19 pandemic there has been an increase in child labour in all countries, because many families are in a much more vulnerable economic situation than before.

What is child labour and what is not?

Not all tasks performed by children are classified as child labour and therefore have to be eradicated. Child labour is understood as any work, whether paid or not, that deprives children of their childhood, potential and dignity. It hurts them for their physical and psychological development.

We talk about jobs that are dangerous and prejudicial to the child’s physical, mental or moral well-being; it interferes with their schooling because it deprives them of attending school, forcing them to abandon it prematurely, or combine it with heavy and time-consuming work. The most extreme form of child labour is children subjected to slavery, separated from their families, and sexual work.

Children or adolescents are generally considered positivefor work that does not harm their healthor interfere with their schooling. We talk, for example, aids in household chores, collaboration in a family business or those they do during the holidays. These types of activities are often positive for children’s development, provide them with qualifications and experience, and help them prepare for membership of society.

Materials to work with your children this concept

On different youtube channels, educational videos, material from UNHCR and other organizations, you’ll find lots of statistics, facts and examples of what child labour is so you can talk to your children about it. You will also find stories that tell the story of children living at work, not only in Africa or Latin America, but for example the story of Pedro y Juan do not play takes place in a European city.

In particular, we wanted to recommend a guide that was published in 2009, by the ILO, although it is a bit old, its methodology is still in force. This guide sets out a comparative clock with the hours a child in India, is the example that appears, devotes to his work and going to school. And it should be your son or daughter, who does this same clock, with the hours he spends at school, playing with his friends or other activities. It is very illustrative to compare both. You have more details about this activity here.

Following the escaperoom trend, UNICEF Spain has launched the #TheUnescapeRoom campaign, a video social experiment in which children can put on the skin of other children working in the most extreme conditions. UNICEF data is that 151.6 million children are victims of child labour worldwide.

Is child labour in Spain?

You may be told by talking to your children about this topic that this, children’s work, exists elsewhere, but not in Spain. This is true only half. The ILO in its latest report spoke of the fact that child labour in Spain was hiding behind prostitution and begging. Some minors, in addition to engaging in prostitution, are obliged to beg with babies, to commit theft or to collect signatures to support organizations that do not exist. In Spain, the only children under 16 who can work thanks to a royal decree are those who are engaged in the artistic field.

The truth is that fortunately in Europe we do not reach the numbers that elsewhere on the planet. Almost half of child labour (72 million boys and girls) is concentrated in Africa; 62 million in Asia and the Pacific; 10.7 million in the Americas; 1.1 million in the Arab States; and 5.5 million in Europe and Central Asia.