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Children at Work

World Day Against Child Labour is on 12 June 2019

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To celebrate 100 years of the International Labour Organization, focusing particularly on the World Day Against Child Labour.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a list of children’s dream jobs. An example is available at: https://tinyurl.com/y4r5cqdq

    It lists the following 15 jobs: dancer/choreographer, actor, musician, teacher, scientist, athlete, firefighter, detective, writer, police officer, astronaut, pilot, vet, lawyer and doctor.

  • Have available the Aid for Africa slideshow ‘Children draw their dreams’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is available at: http://tinyurl.com/y2nbsev4

  • Have available the video ‘The fight against child labour’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 3.48 minutes long and is available at: http://tinyurl.com/y4lerl6k

  • More information about the ILO’s work is available at: https://www.ilo.org/100/en/

Assembly

  1. Ask the students whether any of them have dreamed of what job they would like to do when they are adults.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  2. Explain that some surveys have asked children the same question. One survey found that the top ten dream jobs for children were dancer/choreographer, actor, musician, teacher, scientist, athlete, firefighter, detective, writer and police officer.

    Explain that you are going to read out the list again slowly and you would like the students to raise their hands if they like the idea of doing each job.

  3. Ask the students for other suggestions to add to the list – you may like to record these. You may also like to have a vote and discover the most popular dream job in the school.

  4. Ask the students how they think younger children decide what their dream job might be.

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Suggestions could include children having parents or family members who do a particular job, or children seeing the job on their favourite television programme.

  5. Ask the students why they think children often end up changing their minds and doing a job that differs from the job that they dreamed of when they were young.

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Suggestions could include that children’s interests change, they develop skills in other areas, they don’t get the exam grades that they need to pursue a particular career, they want to earn more money or they want to gain greater job satisfaction.

  6. Ask the students to consider whether children all over the world would give similar answers to the question, ‘What would you like to be when you grow up?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

  7. Show the Aid for Africa slideshow ‘Children draw their dreams’.

    Identify the dream jobs displayed (doctor, pilot, footballer and teacher).

    Conclude that children all over the world share similar dreams. However, the likelihood of many children from poor or war-torn parts of the world achieving their dreams is much lower.

  8. Discuss the following facts about child labour.

    - One in seven children work instead of going to school. This is harmful to their physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
    - Around 218 million children work, many full-time, of whom 152 million are victims of child labour. They do not go to school, they have little or no time to play, and they do not receive proper nutrition or care. They are denied the chance to be children.
    Of the 152 million children still in child labour today, just over seven out of 10 work in the agriculture industry, which includes fishing, forestry, livestock herding and aquaculture, and comprises both subsistence and commercial farming.
    - Many children are exposed to the worst forms of child labour, such as work in hazardous environments, slavery or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities including drug-trafficking and involvement in armed conflict.

Time for reflection

Show the video ‘The fight against child labour’.

Explain that this year, the International Labour Organization, which is also known as the ILO, is celebrating 100 years of advancing social justice and promoting fair labour standards across the world. In 2002, the ILO launched the World Day Against Child Labour to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.

Every year, on 12 June, the World Day Against Child Labour brings together governments, employers, workers’ organizations and members of civil society from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and to discuss what can be done to help them.

The ILO has stated, Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams.’

Ask the students to think about their own lives and their dreams for the future.

Pause to allow time for thought.

Ask the students to think about the lives of other children in the world and what the future holds for them.

Pause to allow time for thought.

Prayer
Dear God,
Please help us to realize that children and young people all over the world have dreams just like we do.
Many of our dreams may well come true because we have education, healthcare and many resources available to us.
Help us to remember those who live in poverty and who would love to go to school, but cannot.
Help us to be grateful.
Help us to try to help others and make the world a safer and fairer place.
Help us to become people who try to help others to achieve their dreams.
Amen.

Publication date: June 2019   (Vol.21 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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