The “World Day Against Child Labour” on the 12th of June is commemorated every year by the Women and Children Affairs Division of the Department of Labor, and this year it is commemorated under the theme of “Beautiful Sri Lanka free from Child Labour”. This is an important opportunity to show off to the society the importance of children through the public sector as well as the private sector.
Children are the most valuable asset not only in any country, region or a continent, but also in the whole world. The Convention about Child Rights states about the Child Labour as follows:
Children should be protected from economic exploitation and hazardous employment. Moreover, children should be protected from any actions that are harmful to the physical and mental health, spiritual, moral or social development of them.
Child rights are included in human rights, when it is addressed that human rights should be honored for the future social progress. We must accept that, within human society children also have the right to enjoy various rights, so as the adults have. By ratifying the convention of child rights in 1992, Sri Lanka has also adopted many rights of children, such as right for leisure and sports, protection from economic exploitation, etc. After the declaration of child rights by the United Nations Organization in 1979 only, most of the states have started speaking about child rights. The UN Declaration states that the human community is bound to give the proper place for every child.
The Declaration on Children was accepted by the United Nations Organization in 1989.
As these conventions and declarations were accepted by Sri Lanka, we have the responsibility to protect the rights of our children also. For this purpose, provisions were introduced in our constitution and from time to time enactments were introduced by our parliament.
Even though laws for protecting child rights are enacted, our responsibility as adults is to protect child rights and give the chance to the children to be good citizens in the future. The international labor organization (ILO) has declared international theme of “No to child Labour, yes to quality education” this year.