News / Economy

ILO Report Notes Progress in Reducing Child Labor

Children fill up empty cigarettes manually with locally grown tobacco in a small factory at Haragach in Rangpur district, Bangladesh, in this July 11, 2013. (File photo)Children fill up empty cigarettes manually with locally grown tobacco in a small factory at Haragach in Rangpur district, Bangladesh, in this July 11, 2013. (File photo)
x
Children fill up empty cigarettes manually with locally grown tobacco in a small factory at Haragach in Rangpur district, Bangladesh, in this July 11, 2013. (File photo)
Children fill up empty cigarettes manually with locally grown tobacco in a small factory at Haragach in Rangpur district, Bangladesh, in this July 11, 2013. (File photo)
Marthe van der Wolf
The International Labor Organization, ILO, says the target of eliminating the worst forms of child labor will not be met by 2016, even though the global number of child laborers was reduced by one-third between 2000 and 2012.  A newly released ILO report states that 168 million minors worldwide are still being forced to engage in child labor.
 
The study says the reduction of child labor is not going fast enough and that more action is needed.
 
Children involved in hazardous labor, 5 - 17 years age groupChildren involved in hazardous labor, 5 - 17 years age group
x
Children involved in hazardous labor, 5 - 17 years age group
Children involved in hazardous labor, 5 - 17 years age group
Eleven percent of the world's children are being forced to engage in child labor, with more than half doing work that endangers their health, safety and moral development.
 
The director of the ILO office in Ethiopia, George Okutho, said a multi-faceted policy response is needed to further decrease the number of child laborers.
 
“We need to integrate child labor issues with issues of social protection, income generating capacity for households and also broader economic policy, legislation, education and labor market policies,” said Okutho.
 
While the largest number of child laborers are in Asia, with 77.7 million, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest incidence, with more than one in five children engaged in the practice. The agricultural sector accounts for the highest number of child laborers, followed by the service sector.

"In Asia also in many other parts much of child labor remains hidden," explained Simrin Singh, an ILO specialist on child labor in the Asia Pacific. "Certain forms of child labor are not well captured - such as child domestic work, children in child
domestic labor because they are hidden from public eyesight."
 
Singh said positive factors have supported the improvement, including better government policy and awareness, adding that Indonesia, the Philippines, as well as India and China have taken steps to implement significant social protection plans.
 
The ILO report also points to positive trends noting a reduction in the total number of child laborers by one-third, from 246 million to 168 million, between 2000 and 2012. 
 
George Okutho said the most significant progress was made between 2008 and 2012, despite the global economic crisis. He points to poverty reduction as an important factor.
 
“One way of preventing child labor is also to address the question of poverty. Child labor is very much related to poverty.  Because children need to work to support their families in one way or another,” said Okutho.
 
Children between the ages of 5 and 17 doing work that adversely affects their physical and mental abilities are considered to be child laborers.
 
Several years ago, the 189 member states of the ILO set the year 2016 as the target for eliminating the worst forms of child labor.
 
That goal, according to the organization's latest report, will not be met.

Some information for this report provided by Ron Corben in Bangkok

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Resolve Nuclear Deal Issues

Leaders find resolution on issues of liability of suppliers to India in event of nuclear accident, US demands to track whereabouts of material supplied to country More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8930
JPY
USD
117.98
GBP
USD
0.6673
CAD
USD
1.2445
INR
USD
61.498

Rates may not be current.