This year, on 28 April 2018, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (SafeDay) and the World Day against Child Labour (WDACL) come together in a joint campaign to improve the safety and health of young workers and end child labour.
Deidré Penfold, Executive Director of the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA), says more than 15% of the world’s labour force is made up of 541 million young workers between 15 and 24 years old. This number includes 36 million children doing hazardous child labour. These youngster suffer up to 40% more non-fatal occupational injuries than adult workers older than 25.
Included in the many factors that can increase youth vulnerability to health and safety risks at work, are their
- physical and psychological stage of development,
- lack of work experience and lack of training,
- limited awareness of work-related hazards, and
- a lack of bargaining power
These factors can lead young workers to accept dangerous tasks or jobs with poor working conditions.
“On 28 April we should spare a thought for young workers delivering services in possibly hazardous environments worldwide and at home, and how we can address these challenges to improve their safety and health.
“Keeping an eye out for our young colleagues will pave the way for a safe and secure working environment for the next generation,” says Penfold.
The SafeDay and WDACL campaign aims to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 8.8 of safe and secure working environments for all workers by 2030 and SDG target 8.7 of ending all forms of child labour by 2025.
Achieving these goals for the benefit of the next generation of the global workforce requires a concerted and integrated approach to eliminating child labour and promoting a culture of prevention on occupational safety health.