SAO PAULO – Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest, became the stage on Tuesday for 20 children who danced a ballet as part of a campaign launched on the occasion of World Day Against Child Labor.
With the goal of alerting passengers about the risks and repercussions of child labor, the airport, together with a number of social organizations, carried out various activities in the public areas of its terminals, including the distribution of explanatory pamphlets, dance presentations and expos.
“At this exact moment, more than 160 million children are working around the world and are not enjoying their rights to education, healthcare or leisure time,” the airport management said in a note.
It added that around 3 million minors are currently laborers in Brazil, “in the most diverse jobs,” from hawking products at stop signs and doing domestic labor to working on farms and even in the “airport itself.”
In 2015, 80,000 children between ages 5-9 worked in the South American country, according to data provided by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).
“The principal defense against child labor is the intense raising of awareness about the immense exploitation of children and teenagers, which constitutes a grave violation of fundamental human rights,” said authorities at the airport, one of the most important in Latin America.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) launched World Day Against Child Labor in 2002 to “raise awareness about the magnitude of this problem” and to “join forces to eradicate this reality.”