ILO Chief calls on countries to boost efforts to fight child labour

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Guy Ryder (@ Khem Sovannara/Cambodge Soir/AFP 2013)

ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder has called for a redoubling of efforts so that the international community can reach the target it set itself to eradicate the worst forms of child labour by 2016.

He told the Third Global Conference on Child Labour in Brazil that the current rate of progress is not fast enough. "Let us be clear. We will not meet the 2016 target and that is a collective policy failure. We have to do better," he said.

The ILO chief stressed that child labour is not only a problem of poor or developing economies but affects all countries. He urged participants to direct their efforts towards policies and actions that have been successful.

Ryder stressed "We are seeing child labour concerns mainstreamed into public policy in multiple, relevant fields. We see greater clarity about the need for better school- to-work transition and skills-matching. We see a new global consensus on the need to ensure social protection floors for all people."

The ILO's latest global estimates on child labour, released in the run-up to the conference, show that since 2010, the number of child labourers has dropped by one-third to 168 million. While the fall in numbers is good news, the ILO chief warned that it is still a very large number – it is only 27 million fewer than the entire population of Brazil.

According to the latest global estimates, child labour is predominant in agriculture, both formal and informal, and in other sectors of the informal economy.

The conference will take stock of the progress achieved since the second global conference that took place in The Hague in 2010.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’31″

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