Girls, Too

13 June 2009, Issue No. 26 - The World Day Against Child Labor

Issue No. 26 , 13 June 2009
United Nations Girls Education Initative
The World Day Against Child Labor
Girls reading

© UNICEF/BANA2007-00092/Shehzad Noorani

Munni (9 years old) searches for metal in a pile of garbage on the bank of river Buriganga in Old Dhaka. She lives nearby in a slum. She has three sisters and one brother. Her mother works at a plastic & rubber recycling workshop. Her father died recently in a boat accident. When she is not scavenging, she is usually doing domestic chores like collecting water, cooking, cleaning or washing dirty dishes or laundries.

World Day Against Child Labour 2009: Give girls a chance: End child labour

The World Day Against Child Labour will be celebrated on 12 June 2009. The World Day this year marks the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the landmark ILO Convention No. 182, which addresses the need for action to tackle the worst forms of child labour.


Whilst celebrating progress made during the past ten years, the World Day will highlight the continuing challenges, with a focus on exploitation of girls in child labour. Around the world, an estimated 100 million girls are involved in child labour. Many of these girls undertake similar types of work as boys, but often also endure additional hardships and face extra risks. Moreover, girls are all too often exposed to some of the worst forms of child labour, often in hidden work situations.

On this World Day we call for:

  • Policy responses to address the causes of child labour, paying particular attention to the situation of girls.
  • Urgent action to tackle the worst forms of child labour.
  • Greater attention to the education and skills training needs of adolescent girls - a key action point in tackling child labour and providing a pathway for girls to gain Decent Work as adults.

Girls and child labour


ILO standards require that countries establish a minimum age of employment (generally 15 though developing countries can set the age at 14). They also require that children (including adolescents aged 15-17) are not involved in work designated as a worst form of child labour.

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Upcoming events

June 2009

12 - International Day Against Child Labour

15-19 -17th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (17CCEM)

16 - Day of the African Child

18-19 - World Economic Forum on East Asia 2009

20 - World Refugee Day

24 - Adolescent Girls and the Workforce

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The International Labour Organization is the UN specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights.

spacerQuick Facts

Quick Facts about Child Labor

  • More than 100 million girls are involved in child labour worldwide
  • 54 millon girls under the age of twelve are working. At this age group there are more working girls than boys
  • 20 million girls below the age of twelve are in hazardous work.


Girls in child labour top 100 million

ILO expert Frank Hageman presents a new ILO report that despite recent progress in eliminating child labour which affects 218 million children globally, girls make up an estimated 100 million and more than half of them are under the age of 12. The report cites evidence that as a result of the economic crisis, more girls are kept out of school than boys with the result that they may enter the workforce at an early age.

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