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The International Labour Organization (ILO), a United Nations body, launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to bring attention to the problem of child labour and consolidate efforts in the fight against it.

According to data by ILO, hundreds of millions of girls and boys across the world are involved in labour work which deprives them of adequate education, health, leisure and other basic freedoms.

More than half of this number, are exposed to the most immoral forms of child labour. These include work in hazardous environments, slavery, illicit activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.

The day is celebrated every year on June 12 since its launch and aims to promote activism in order to prevent and eradicate the practice.

With the ongoing pandemic, addressing the issue has become even more urgent, which is why the United Nations' body is ramping up its efforts .

2021 has been declared as the international year for the elimination of child labour and the theme is "Act now: end child labour!"

For this year’s World Day, the ILO has called on stakeholders from across the world to choose a specific action that contributes to ending child labour and which can be realised by December 2021.

A “Week of Action” will commence from June 12. The events and activities carried out during this week will be an opportunity for stakeholders to showcase progress in carrying out their “2021 Action Pledges.”

The action taken throughout the year will pave way for the next milestone, the Global Conference on Child Labour 2022, in South Africa.

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