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12 June 2014

INTERPOL speaks and acts to support World Day Against Child Labour

Fight against child exploitation worldwide backed by #TurnBackCrime campaign


LYON, France – INTERPOL is today supporting the World Day Against Child Labour by joining the International Labour Organization's  call to "Combat Child Labour." 
 
“We are all allies in the global fight to protect human life and dignity and must especially remain steadfast in our efforts to protect children,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
 
“Today is a powerful reminder that more than ever we all must work together against forced child labour and to rescue innocent victims from modern-day slavery at the hands of criminals who prey on the vulnerable.”

"Of equal importance to what we say and do today will be our words and actions tomorrow and each and every day that follows to protect our children from forced and illegal child labour," concluded Secretary General Noble.

In the past five years, INTERPOL-coordinated operations throughout Africa have led to the rescue of nearly 900 victims of child forced labour, some as young as five years old, discovered working under extreme conditions in illegally-operated gold mines and cotton fields, or on fishing boats.
 
With raising public understanding of such issues a key component in preventing crimes such as child labour, Secretary General Noble pointed to INTERPOL’s #TurnBackCrime global campaign to educate society about the connections between different forms of crime, their impact on everyday life, and to empower the public to make better informed choices.
 
In this respect, in an operation against child trafficking and exploitation backed by Turn Back Crime earlier this year, law enforcement authorities in Côte d’Ivoire operating with INTERPOL support rescued 76 children believed to have been trafficked across West Africa for the purposes of illegal child labour.
 
Operation Nawa in Côte d’Ivoire was the latest in a series of INTERPOL transnational child trafficking operations focusing on the serious abuse of children subjected to slave-like conditions.
 
In April Secretary General Noble presented Operation Nawa and the role of Turn Back Crime campaign during the second Combating Human Trafficking conference hosted by Pope Francis at the Vatican City and attended by police chiefs from around the world.