Over 100 Million Children, In Hazardous Work


Young girl working on a loom in Aït Benhaddou, Morocco | Wikimedia Commons

More than half of estimated 215 million child labourers all over the world  are engaged in hazardous work, which puts them at risk of injury, illness or death every minute, the United Nations informs.

The International Labour Organization report, which has been released on the eve of as the World Day against Child Labour, on June 12th,  warns that efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour were slowing down last year and expressed concern that the global economic crisis could halt progress toward the goal of eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2016.

A Boy Repairing a Tire in Ghana | Wikimedia Commons

They Should Remain In School

The new report calls for fresh efforts to ensure that all children remain in education institutions at least until the minimum age of employment. It urges countries to prepare lists of hazardous work as required by ILO child labour conventions.

According to the report, urgent action is required to tackle hazardous work by children who have attained the minimum working age, but may be at risk in the workplace, and calls for training and awareness to ensure that they are informed on risks, rights and responsibilities in the workplace.

Children In Dagner Also In Europe, U.S.

The study notes that the problem of children in hazardous work is not confined to developing countries. Evidence from the United States and Europe also shows the high vulnerability of youth to workplace accidents.

The ILO report concludes that while there is a need to strengthen workplace safety and health for all workers, specific safeguards for adolescents between the minimum age of employment and the age of 18 are needed.

So far 173 of the ILO’s 183 Member States have committed themselves to tackling hazardous work by children “as a matter of urgency” by ratifying the ILO convention on the worst forms of child labour.

Children Are Cheap And Too Frightened

In a statement on the occasion of the Day, the independent UN expert on contemporary forms of slavery, Gulnara Shahinian, said the annual observance draws attention to the alarming extent of hazardous child labour and advocates for change.

“Poverty, conflict and harmful traditional practices are some of the main causes for children working. Child labour is in great demand because it is cheap, and because children are naturally more docile, easier to discipline than adults, and too frightened to complain.”

The expert, who reports to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, stressed that the protection of children’s rights should be a high priority for Governments, which have the primary responsibility to provide families and communities with alternative livelihoods, access to social protection and basic services.




2011 Human Wrongs Watch

5 Trackbacks to “Over 100 Million Children, In Hazardous Work”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: