World Day 2008 - News and events

World Day events will be held in some 60 countries across the world. In Geneva, the ILO will mark the World Day with a plenary session of the International Labour Conference, between 10.00 a.m. and 10.30 am on 12 June. The session will be led by the ILO Director-General and will include a representative of UNESCO, the UN agency coordinating the Education for All process, and representatives of employers, workers and governments.

Between 14.30 and 15.30 there will be a public event organised jointly with the City of Geneva and the Geneva based community organisation “Le respect, ça change la vie” on the Place des Nations. In the presence of the President of the State Council of the Canton of Geneva, the Mayor of Geneva, senior ILO officials and International Labour Conference delegates, school children will present a giant canvas featuring their signatures to a statement to say no to child labour. Children will release balloons in solidarity with the child labourers around the world and donate favourite books, which will be made available by the ILO to children participating in ILO supported projects around the world.

There will also be a presentation by the leading Swiss company Caran d’Ache of a sculpture of a pencil with the slogan, Education: the right response to child labour.

Around the world, activities include:

  • Policy roundtables and workshops, involving Government Ministries, employers and workers, other UN organizations and non governmental organizations.
  • Press conferences, Radio and TV programmes, major awareness raising campaigns in the media, including stories of working children in newspapers.
  • Children performing in drama, song and dance, marches of children wearing t-shirts and pins against child labour, drawing and essay competitions.
  • Photo exhibitions, presentation of studies on child labour etc.


World Day Against Child Labour 2008 ─ ILO says education is the “right response” to child labour
Presse release.

Feature for World Day Against Child Labour - From muddy fields to the classroom: a boy’s journey out of child labour
The international community has taken significant steps in the eradication of child labour and the International Labour Organization has recognized that the end of the worst forms of child labour is within reach. Still, it is an uphill struggle and much remains to be done. On this year’s World Day Against Child Labour, the ILO is highlighting the role of education as the right response to child labour. The story of Rafaelito shows how.

The “Gateway School”, a way of eliminating child labour
Education is a human right and a key factor in the reduction of poverty and child labour. Yet, over 70 million primary-age children are not enrolled in school and most of them are part of the 218 million children worldwide involved in child labour. The international community has committed itself, within the Millenium Development Goals, to ensure that by 2015 all children, boys and girls, complete a course of primary education. Special care has to be taken of children who are out of the school system, like Salimata, of Côte d’Ivoire…

Feature for World Day against Child Labour, 12 June 2008 – The road to school is a route out of child labour
Asia-Pacific enjoys a reputation as a vibrant economic region, but it is also home to more working children than any other region in the world; an estimated 122 million children aged 5-14 years are compelled to work for their survival. Some try to balance school with their long hours of work, but millions of these children are not enrolled in school at all. Guy Thijs, Deputy Regional Director of the International Labour Organizations’ Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and former Director of the ILO’s global International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour, reports from Thailand.

Reaching the unreached: the child labour challenge in India
“Every child counts…Over the last year, we have rescued more than 5,000 children from the streets of Hyderabad to enable them to regain their lost childhood”, says Leyla Tegmo-Reddy, ILO Director in New Delhi, India. The ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) has been striving to rescue and rehabilitate migrant working children in the age group of 5 to 14 years, saving them from being trafficked or from getting involved in drugs and crime. ILO Online spoke with the ILO Director in New Delhi and Rani Kumudini who is the Project Manager in Hyderabad.

Feature for World Day Against Child Labour 2008 – When “voceadores” learn to SCREAM: Giving a voice to education instead of child labour
Education is often seen as an empowerment right, that can lift economically and socially marginalized children and youth out of poverty. Yet in some developing countries, education remains more of a luxury than a reality for many poor children, who are forced to work instead. This year’s World Day Against Child Labour is promoting education as the right response to child labour. ILO Online reports on one example from Bolivia.


  • June 11Once upon a time… “Jimmy Cricket, where are you?” – Exhibition
    A reception for the exhibit "Once upon a time... Jiminy Cricket, where are you? will take place on 11 June 2008, 5.30 p.m. in the Palais des Nations, Snake Bar. The canvas was created by high school students in the framework of the ILO-IPEC SCREAM (Supporting Children's Rights through Education, Arts and the Media) programme for the World Day Against Child Labour 2008. The fairytale character Pinocchio was chosen to represent the complex reality of child labour in a way that has meaning also to children. The exhibit will remain in the Palais des Nations for the duration of the International Labour Conference (until 13 June)
  • June 12Launch of the World Day in the Plenary session of the International Labour Conference
    Gathering of hundreds of school children in the Place des Nations, organised by the Geneva based community organization “Le respect, ça change la vie”. The children will release balloons, present a giant canvas featuring their signatures to a statement to say no to child labour. They will also symbolically donate a book which has a special meaning to them to which will be forwarded to children involved in projects to tackle child labour supported by the ILO.
    A sculpture of a giant pencil, donated by Swiss based producer of writing implements, Caran d’Ache, and featuring the slogan of the World Day “Education: the right response to child labour”, will be unveiled and presented during the event.