It is a grave offence to put children to work and quite often it is for selfish reasons. Some of these children have barely stopped breastfeeding and playing with their peers, enjoying their childhood and studying in school is all they should be doing.
It is heart-warming that 28th April marks World Day for Safety and Health at Work (SafeDay) and this year there is a joint campaign with the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) that falls on June 12th to improve the safety and health of young workers and END CHILD LABOUR.
The International Labour Organization defines CHILD LABOUR as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity. It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and interferes with their schooling.
In many countries the youth between 15 and 24 years (young workers) can work legally yet this group should be protected to ensure we create a safe and healthy generation. Children under 18 years should be in school!
Although young workers account for about 15% of the world’s labour force, they suffer up to 40% higher rate of non-fatal occupational injuries than adult workers older than 25 years. This increase risk of injuries to young workers results from several factors including;
Over the years children and young workers have found themselves working in very high risk sectors including agriculture, mining, fishing to name a few while others are exposed to work hazards including chemical, biological, physical and even psychosocial challenges. Over the years there has been attempts to clamp down on CHILD LABOUR but so far little has been achieved world-wide because this group is so easy to exploit. To protect our world we need to create a safe and healthy generation that will also protect us in our old-age. Being silent on this issue is an endorsement that it should continue. We all need to do whatever it takes.
At least let us take the following steps immediately while we come up with other significant ways to protect the next generation;
We all HAVE to protect our young workers as well as STOP Child Labour completely!
AS ALWAYS LAUGH OFTEN, WALK AND PRAY EVERYDAY AND REMEMBER IT’S A PRICELESS GIFT TO KNOW YOUR NUMBERS (blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, BMI)
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Health Essentials/St Andrews Clinic
*Dr. Kojo Essel is a Medical Doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in Exercise Therapy, Fitness Nutrition & Corrective Exercise.
Thought for the week – “The joint campaign to build a safe and healthy generation by eradicating child labour and ensuring safe and healthy work for youth will only succeed if we all play our part” – ILO
World Malaria Day – April 25th. A gentle reminder that malaria is an extremely deadly illness yet preventable.