Fighting Child Labour – Why are we getting involved

Child labour is one of the greatest tragedies of our time. Instead of learning and playing, 168 million children are working; more than half of them under hazardous conditions. Child labour is one of the most complex global social issues. Poverty, education, inequality and lack of economic opportunities, all form part of the problem. As a result, it needs to be tackled by an integrated approach involving governments, civil society and industry.

For us, standing on the sidelines is not an option. Sports Philosophy was formed last year with the aim of supporting the fight against child labour. 2014 was also the year of Nobel Prizes for children rights activists. We take great inspiration from the likes of Kailash Satyrathi. To date, his organisations have rescued over 80,000 children from the scourge of bondage, trafficking and exploitative labour. His strategy of certifying “child labour-free products” reduced the number of working children in South Asia by 70% and released 1 million bonded labourers. Kailash was also instrumental in making education a Constitutional Provision in India.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of activists such as Kailash Satyrathi, child labour remains an issue. We therefore pledge to contribute one million pounds by 2022 to help affected children and communities. We also intend to be more scientific in our approach as we believe that new and innovative strategies are needed. What do we mean by that? Before we define strategies, we need to understand the causes of child labour in more detail. After all, child labour is not a choice. It is a necessity arising from issues such as poverty, inequality and economic hardship in affected communities. We therefore plan to adopt a four step approach: (1) field research (2) conceptualization of strategies, (3) action and (4) evaluation and refinement of our strategies.

For further inspiration, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmHyARnDxI0

Dr. Wolfgang Spiess-Knafl
Chairman of Sports Philosophy