June 12, 2012
In Canada and around the world, children and youth have the right to security and safety, free from violence and discrimination.
However, experts estimate that in 2008 more than 300 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 were involved in child labour. More than half of these children and young people worked under hazardous conditions, which could result in illness, injury, mental trauma, and death.
Child labour can involve human trafficking, sexually exploitation, and children forced into armed conflict. These children suffer at a very early age, separated from their families, exposed to serious hazards and illnesses, or left to fend for themselves on the streets of large cities. No child should ever have to grow up this way.
Canada is a strong advocate for the protection of children. Canada's commitment to poverty reduction includes improving the status of children and youth in each country.
On this day, Canadians can be proud of our efforts to protect children and help them get the best possible start in life.
Hon. Beverley J. Oda
Minister of International Cooperation