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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9098
    JPY
    USD
    105.75
    GBP
    USD
    0.7631
    CAD
    USD
    1.3189
    INR
    USD
    67.209

    Rates may not be current.