ILO marks 150th ratification of convention on worst forms of child labour, Asian country latest to sign

The world’s fundamental international standard for combating the worst forms of child labour, ILO Convention No. 182 adopted in 1999, received its 150th ratification by Kyrgyzstan.

Press release | BANGKOK | 24 May 2004

BANGKOK (ILO News) – The world’s fundamental international standard for combating the worst forms of child labour, International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 182, has received its 150th ratification, putting it within sight of achieving universal ratification by all of the Organization’s 177 Member States.

The Convention, which provides the basis for national law and practice against the worst forms of child labour was adopted unanimously by the International Labour Conference in 1999, and has received the most ratifications in the shortest time of any Convention in the 85-year history of the Organization. The 150th country to ratify the Convention was Kyrgyzstan.

Thailand ratified Convention No. 182 in 2001. Earlier this month the country also ratified the other child labour Convention - 138 - which covers the minimum age for employment.

“This rapid pace of ratification shows that world opinion has taken a determined stand against the scourge of child labour, particularly in its cruellest and most exploitative forms”, said Juan Somavia, Director General of the ILO.

Should the Convention be ratified by all 177 ILO member States, it would become the first ILO convention ever to receive universal support. Other fundamental conventions covering freedom of association, forced labour, discrimination and the other ILO convention on children – Minimum Age convention No. 138 have been ratified by between 100 and 163 countries.

Convention No. 182 identifies the worst forms of child labour as those which have a debilitating effect on the health, morals or psychological wellbeing of children. This includes work in dangerous industrial activities such as mining; illegal activities such as prostitution, pornography and drug trafficking; work in extreme conditions of heat or cold and work that involves exposure to hazardous substances and chemicals.

Reacting to the 150th ratification, Frans Roselaers, Director of the ILO International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), said, “Ratification is not just a matter of legal practice, but leads to concrete action that improves the lives of children.” In its fight against the worst forms of child labour, IPEC now has activities running in 84 countries.

For a list of which countries have ratified which conventions visit: /ilolex/english/newratframeE.htm

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