Three years ago, the International Labour Organization adopted a convention against worst forms of child labour, including the use of children in mining, sexual exploitation and domestic work. Now three countries are stepping up the pace to stop child labour. ILO TV reports.
Child prostitutes in El Salvador, young miners in Tanzania, child porters in Nepal. Young lives shouldering the heavy burden of poverty to survive.
Shanta Bahar, child porter
I fall down a lot while carrying these loads because the ground is very slippery. My brother was killed when the rope around the load he was carrying got caught in a tractor.
Nearly a quarter of a million children worldwide work on farms, in mines, in commercial sexual exploitation, in jobs that are so abusive they have been declared intolerable by international accord. Now three countries, El Salvador, Tanzania and Nepal have committed themselves to eliminating the worst forms of child labour in 10 years or less. These time bound programs will speed up the effort to remove millions of children from child labour.
It is an international effort that began 2 years ago with the unanimous adoption of convention 182 against the worst forms of child labour at the International Labour Organization’s annual labour conference in Geneva. At the ILO’s most recent conference, President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania urged support for other countries to start time bound programs.
President Benjamin Mkapa, Tanzania
I am here, Mme President to plead for the empowerment of countries like mine as we seek to end child labour and set our children both free and on a firm foundation for the future they deserve.
The time-bound programs aim to phase out child labour by focusing on prevention, rehabilitation and education. The three pilot programs will be coordinated by the ILO’s International program to eliminate child labour, IPEC which runs projects in over 70 countries. But support must come from every level of society if these programmes are to succeed.
Former child prostitute
I hope governments and people all over the world will help children like me to finish going to school and to make sure we have a chance to be children.
Time bound programs to eliminate child labour are just in time for some. But time can only tell for millions more who are still at work.