This year, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (SafeDay) on 24 April and the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) on 12 June are coming together in a joint campaign to improve the safety and health of young workers and end child labour.
The joint campaign aims to accelerate action 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 requires a concerted and integrated approach that promotes a culture of prevention on occupational safety health (OSH) benefiting the next generation of the global workforce.
The 541 million young workers (15-24 years old) account for more than 15 per cent of the world’s labour force and suffer up to a 40 per cent higher rate of non-fatal occupational injuries than adult workers older than 25.
Many factors can increase youth vulnerability to OSH risks, such as:
- Physical and psychological stage of development
- Lack of work experience and lack of training
- Limited awareness of work-related hazards
- Lack of bargaining power
These factors, either in isolation or coming together, can lead young workers to accept dangerous tasks or jobs with poor working conditions.
The 2018 SafeDay campaign highlights the critical importance of addressing these challenges and improving safety and health for young workers, not only to promote decent youth employment, but also to link these efforts to combat hazardous child labour.