News / Europe

Hundreds of Millions of Children Labor to Survive

Pakistani Naginah Sadiq, 5, who works in a brick factory, rests on a bed next to her sister Shahzadi, 8 months, on World Day Against Child Labor, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, June 12, 2012.
Pakistani Naginah Sadiq, 5, who works in a brick factory, rests on a bed next to her sister Shahzadi, 8 months, on World Day Against Child Labor, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, June 12, 2012.
Lisa Schlein
GENEVA - The International Labor Organization (ILO) is urging nations to step up the fight against child labor.The ILO is issuing a call to action to mark the 10th anniversary of the annual World Day Against Child Labor on June 12.

More than half of the 215 million child laborers are exposed to slavery and involvement in armed conflict, which the International Labor Organization calls the worst forms of child labor.  

About five million children, out of 21 million people globally, are caught in forced labor, including commercial sexual exploitation and debt bondage.  

Senior technical specialist Patrick Quinn of the ILO international program for the elimination of child labor says the worst forms of child labor include work that is dangerous to the health, safety and moral development of children.  

He says hazardous work, such as mining, agriculture and domestic service is the largest part of the worst forms of child labor.  

"The ILO standard on worst forms of child labor was established because we recognize that for many countries, there is a development issue in tackling child labor. We need to improve education. We need to improve social protections systems so that poor families do not have to send poor children to school. We need to provide employment for adults," said Quinn. "So there is an issue about development and tackling the root causes of child labor because fundamental[ly] behind the issue of child labor is poverty -- individual family poverty and societal poverty."  

A plan was adopted in The Hague in 2010 to eliminate the worst forms of child labor by 2016. Quinn agrees this target is likely to be missed, especially at a time when countries are cutting back on social provisions.

But he says the challenges are enormous -- not impossible. During the past decade, he notes child labor has been reduced by 20 percent.  

He says the greatest progress is seen in Latin American countries, where poor families have been provided with financial incentives to send their children to school.

"But not just in Latin America, we have seen also in some countries in Africa. For example, where governments take steps to abolish school fees, immediately we see a large increase in the numbers of children in school.  It is clear that costs are a barrier to many families sending their children to school. So these kind[s] of important policy initiatives are key to tackling the problem," Quinn stated. 

Although Kenya, Tanzania and a few other countries have abolished school fees, Quinn says overall the picture of child labor in Africa is not very optimistic. While some progress is being made on the national level, he says child labor in Africa as a whole is increasing.

The International Labor Organization reports the greatest number of child laborers is in South East Asia, but Africa has the highest percentage of those employed in this age group.

The International Labor Organization is calling for nations to strengthen laws aimed at protecting children from exploitation. It also calls for giving all children a quality education, providing poor families with social protection and ensuring adults opportunities for work.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid