Red Hand Day 2023: History, Dates & Importance of Preventing Child Labor

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Child labor remains a prevalent issue in many parts of the world, depriving children of their childhood, education, and the opportunity to reach their full potential. Red Hand Day, observed on February 12th, is dedicated to raising awareness and putting an end to child labor and exploitation.

The History of Red Hand Day

Red Hand Day was first observed in 2005, initiated by the International Labour Organization (ILO) to call attention to the worst forms of child labor, including slavery, trafficking, and forced labor. The use of the red hand symbol was inspired by the legend of a King who promised to give a piece of land to anyone who could run from one end of the kingdom to the other end without stopping. A young boy stepped forward and took up the challenge, but when he reached the finish line, he cut off his hand and held it up in the air to prove that he had run the entire distance without stopping. This symbolizes the urgency to take action to put an end to child labor.

The Consequences of Child Labor

Child labor not only robs children of their childhood and education, but it also perpetuates poverty and endangers their physical and mental health. Children who work long hours in hazardous conditions are at risk of developing physical and mental health problems, and they are also more likely to drop out of school. This, in turn, perpetuates a cycle of poverty that is difficult to break.

Moreover, child labor undermines the competitiveness of local economies and hinders economic growth. The exploitation of children undermines the rights of workers and distorts labor markets, leading to lower wages and working conditions for adult workers.

What Can Be Done to End Child Labor

The elimination of child labor requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes of poverty and exploitation. This includes providing access to education, improving working conditions, and enforcing laws that prohibit child labor.

Governments and international organizations can play a critical role in ending child labor by enacting and enforcing laws and regulations, as well as providing technical assistance and support to communities and businesses.

Consumers can also play a role by being informed about the products they buy and the companies they support. They can choose to support businesses that have a proven track record of respecting workers’ rights and eliminating child labor from their supply chains.


Year Date Day
2023 February 12 Sunday
2024 February 12 Monday
2025 February 12 Wednesday
2026 February 12 Thursday
2027 February 12 Friday


Red Hand Day serves as a reminder of the urgent need to take action to put an end to child labor. By raising awareness and promoting action, we can work towards a world where all children are able to enjoy their childhood, receive an education, and reach their full potential.

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