ILO reports major strides in reduction of child labour

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child labour

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The number of child labourers has declined by one third since 2000, from 246 million to 168 million, according to a new report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

ILO says although this was significant achievement, the rate of decline is not enough to achieve the goal of eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2016.

The report says nearly 85 million children are involved in hazardous work which endangers their health, safety and moral development.

Although the Asia pacific region has the largest number of child labourers at 78 million, Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the region with the highest incidence of child labour.

Child labour among girls has declined by 40 per cent since 2000, compared to a drop of 25 per cent among boys.

ILO says although most of the child labour was in the informal sector, the agricultural sector carries the largest burden with over 98 million child labourers.

Constance Thomas is the Director of  ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child labour.

"We have a target of 2016 to end the worst forms of child labour. We are probably not going to reach that target at this pace. The last thing we want is the good news in this report to produce complacency and for countries to think Ok, the fight is done. There are still 168 million children in child labour, 40 some million under 14 years old. This is still a drastic human rights violation and scourge."

ILO says political will and implementation of legislation to outlaw child labour coupled with investments in education and social protection have contributed to the overall decline in child labour.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio Geneva.

Duration 1.58″

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