World Day Against Child Labour 2012: Stepping up action against child labour
A large gap remains between the ratification of Conventions on child labour and the actions countries take to deal with the problem, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a report marking the tenth anniversary of the annual World Day Against Child Labour.
JAKARTA (ILO News): A large gap remains between the ratification of Conventions on child labour and the actions countries take to deal with the problem, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a report marking the tenth anniversary of the annual World Day Against Child Labour.
“There is no room for complacency when 215 million children are still labouring to survive and more than half of these are exposed to the worst forms of child labour, including slavery and involvement in armed conflict. We cannot allow the eradication of child labour to slip down the development agenda – all countries should be striving to achieve this target, individually and collectively,” said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia.
New estimates released on 1 June showed that some 5 million children are caught in forced labour, which includes conditions such as commercial sexual exploitation and debt bondage – and this is thought to be an underestimate.
The ILO’s child labour Conventions 138 concerning the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment and 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour are among the most widely ratified of all the ILO Conventions. Of the ILO’s 185 member States, 88 per cent have ratified the first and 95.1 per cent the latter. The goal is universal ratification by 2015.
However, according to a new report entitled “Tackling child labour: from commitment to action”, progress in reducing child labour has often been outweighed by a failure to translate commitments into practice. The largest gap between commitment and action is in the informal economy, where the majority of violations of fundamental labour rights occur, the report says. Children in rural and agricultural areas, as well as children of migrant workers and indigenous peoples, are most vulnerable to being caught in child labour.
The ILO also indicates that relatively few cases against child labour reach national courts of law. Sanctions for violations are often too weak to be effective deterrents against the exploitation of children. This means national judicial and law enforcement institutions along with victim protection programmes need to be strengthened.
While much more needs to be done, the ILO paper recognizes the important progress being made in a number of countries to improve law and practice. This includes:
- A growing list of countries establishing national plans to tackle child labour.
- Many new legislative prohibitions that aim identify and prevent hazardous work by children.
- More legislation being adopted against child prostitution and child pornography.
- A marked increase in international cooperation and mutual assistance among member States, particularly on issues concerning trafficking.
In addition to the global commemoration, the ILO through its Child Labour and Education Project will conduct a series of activities to commemorate the World Day at the national level in Indonesia as the following:
The Launch of the new report titled “Understanding Children’s Work and Youth Employment Outcomes in Indonesia” on 20 June in Jakarta
The report is released by Understanding Children’s Work (UCW)—a partnership between the ILO, UNICEF and the World Bank. Hosted by the Indonesian National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), the new report will be officially launched by the Minister of National Development Planning Agency, Prof. Dr. Armida S. Alisjahbana, SE. MA.
Media briefing on child labour and education on 24 June in Jakarta
In collaboration with the Alliance of Independent Journalist (AJI) Jakarta, the ILO will conduct a media briefing on issues related to child labour and education. The media briefing will be opened by Country Director of the ILO in Indonesia, Peter van Rooij, and will present resource persons from the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, child labour activist, academia and so forth. In the media briefing, the ILO and AJI Jakarta will also launch media fellowship and media award activities on issues related to child labour and education.
The Launch of Child Labourers’ Video Diaries: “Indonesia, I am your future!” on 28 June in Jakarta
The ILO in collaboration with Kampung Halaman Foundation will launch a series of child labourers’ video diaries produced by the child labourers in Jakarta, Makassar and Sukabumi under the following four sectors: children as victims of sexual commercial exploitation, street children, child domestic workers and children in garment factories. The first of its kinds, the video diaries capture the plight and voices of child labourers purely from the perspectives of the children.
Union Movements against Child Labour on 30 June in Jakarta
The ILO in collaboration with all the national confederation of trade unions will conduct an awareness raising event targeted to around 500 union members on issues related to child labour and the role of unions. Heads of confederations will also declare their commitments to step up their actions against child labour and be part of the national actions in eliminating child labour, particularly the worst forms, in the country.
For further information please contact:
ILO’s Programme Officer for Child Labour
Tel.: +6221 391 3112 ext. 126
ILO’s Communications Officer
Tel.: +6221 391 3112 ext. 115