Opening Address to the Regional Tripartite workshop: Resources and Processes for Implementing the Hazardous Child Labour Provisions of C.138 and C. 182

by Mr Shinichi Hasegawa, Regional Director of ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Statement | Phuket | 11 July 2005

Khun Tapabutre.

Mr. Swepston,

Representatives of Government, Workers’ and Employers’ Organizations.

Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of the ILO I am honored to welcome you to this Regional Tripartite Workshop. I would like to thank Khun Tapabutre and the Ministry of Labour for their support in organizing this event.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to member states in for their commitment to combat child labour. As of June this year, 15 member states in Asia Pacific had ratified Convention 138 on minimum working ages. 19 had ratified Convention No. 182. on the worst forms of child labour.

In addition to ratifying conventions I would like to congratulate you all on the amount of concrete action you have taken in the past decade. Following the adoption of Convention 182 in 1999, several countries in Asia Pacific have made time-bound commitments to eliminate selected worst forms of child labour within specific time frames. These include , , , , the , and

Despite these intensive efforts and visible achievements our region still faces a growing challenge.

In the Asia Pacific region alone there are estimated to be 127 million working children under the age of 15, the largest number in the world. The actual number of child workers would be even higher if we included those aged 15 to 17 who are in the worst forms of child labour. The ILO estimates that 104 million children in aged between 5 and 17 are involved in such hazardous work. 62 million of those children are under 15.

Despite this obvious, outstanding, challenge, less than a third of the Asian countries who have ratified Convention 182 have established a comprehensive list of hazardous forms of child labour as they are required to do.

Ladies and gentlemen.

The purpose of this workshop is not setting national policy. We are here to share our insights in applying Convention 182. I believe this workshop will play an important part in eliminating hazardous child labour in our region. You all have valuable knowledge and experience in applying child labour standards, both at practical and at policy level. This workshop gives us the change to share those lessons learned.

The ILO is ready to work with you to strengthen national action and international collaboration to eliminate hazardous child labour in Asia Pacific. I look forward to hearing about your experiences and your plans. I wish you every success as we work towards our common goal.