Joining in World Cup football fever, UN agency to wave ‘red card’ against child labour
With World Football Cup fever in full swing, the United Nations labour agency is preparing to wave a symbolic ‘Red Card’ against child work as part of a series of global events beginning this week to mark the World Day Against Child Labour.
“Many have said child labour will always be with us,” International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Juan Somavia said in a statement today. “But the global movement against child labour is proving them wrong. That is the meaning of the symbolic waving of the Red Card against child labour – it’s not just a gesture, it’s a way to highlight our struggle for the right of every child to a real childhood.”
World Cup football legend Roger Milla of Cameroon and leaders of the sports, scouting and labour worlds will speak at ceremonies in Geneva on 12 June marking the World Day and the symbolic waving of the card that signifies a referee’s expulsion of a player from the soccer field for a serious foul or other breach of football rules.
At the same time, activities ranging from television specials to nationwide discussions, marches and public awareness raising events are planned in some 100 countries under the theme, ‘The End of Child Labour: Together we can do it!’
The events highlight ILO's global ‘Red Card to child labour’ campaign which, through the partnership with Fédération Internationale of Football Association (FIFA), the sport’s governing body, has reached millions of people around the world since its launch in 2002.
Mr. Milla will also ‘Kick the Ball’ against child labour in a friendly match with girls teams from a local football club and an international school.
Other scheduled events include a march in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, card pinwheels throughout Brazil, a poetry, essay and painting competition in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and a panel discussion in Washington, DC.
In more than 100 countries around the world, people will be reminded that at least on this one day of the year, they should reflect on the fate of working children.