An Historical Achievement to End Child Labour

It is great to hear some good news on ending child labour. As 2021 is the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, the ILO plans to raise awareness of the issue to accelerate progress. And last week, all 187 countries that are members of the UN International Labour Organisation (ILO) have now ratified a convention to protect children from the worst forms of child labour. This includes slavery, prostitution and trafficking.

We just loved seeing their post on Twitter. It said:  “Today, we have made history. ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour has become the first international labour standard ever to achieve universal ratification.”

Child Labour Stats

The UN agency estimates that 152 million children worldwide are in labour. With 73 million in hazardous work! Most child labour takes place in the agriculture sector. This is mainly due to poverty and parents’ difficulties in finding work. The Convention No. 182 calls for the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour. Which includes slavery, forced labour and trafficking. It also forbids the use of children under18 in armed conflict, prostitution, pornography, illicit activities such as drug trafficking, and in hazardous work.   Read More

This is fantastic news and we celebrate this achievement. They really do have their work cut out for them. Covid19 is heightening the crisis of modern day slavery. Children are always the most vulnerable when poverty hikes. And recent research predicts dire statistics. We wrote at length about this last month. Read it here.

Poverty on the Increase

A recent article by the Sydney Morning Herald reported:

‘Global poverty is set to rise above 1 billion people once again. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which is reducing the income of the world’s poorest. A reduction of  $US500 million ($733 million) a day, according to new research published on Friday.

The research by King’s College London and the Australian National University points to poverty increasing dramatically. Especially in middle-income developing countries, where millions of people live just above the poverty line.’

It is estimated that a 1% percent increase in poverty would lead to a 0.7% increase in child labour in certain countries.

For example, in Pakistan. Nearly 16% of the children between 5-17 ages are engaged in child labour. The majority 56% of children are employed in agriculture. Nearly 15% in services.  And 7% of children are in manufacturing. They work in an unsafe and unhealthy environments. Most are subject to torture, abuse and neglect. This child labour has multiple negative consequences including physical, psychological, moral and social. Read more.

So, we are very happy to see that 187 countries are going to strive to end this crime. We look forward to seeing laws changed, awareness raised and lives changed. It is our sincere hope that nations work together to help alleviate the root cause of poverty. It can seem impossible but to have a united agreement like this, gives us hope.

The Freedom Hub works in the fight to end modern slavery and we run a Survivor School to help victims recover.