168m chil­dren around globe in­volved in Labour: ILO

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL -

IS­LAM­ABAD—There are al­most 168 mil­lion chil­dren around the globe in­volved in child labour, 85 mil­lion of whom are in haz­ardous work. Child labour is found in agri­cul­ture - 99 mil­lion - to min­ing, from man­u­fac­tur­ing to tourism, pro­duc­ing goods and ser­vices con­sumed by mil­lions every day.

Child labour oc­curs pre­dom­i­nantly in the ru­ral and in­for­mal economies, beyond the reach of labour in­spec­tion, the pro­tec­tion of work­ers’ or­ga­ni­za­tions or the gover­nance ben­e­fits of em­ploy­ers’ and pro­duc­ers’ or­ga­ni­za­tions, said Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral ILO Guy Ry­der on the oc­ca­sion of World Day against Child Labour. “Act­ing to­gether, it is within our means to make the fu­ture of work a fu­ture with­out child labour,” he said in his mes­sage is­sued here on Sun­day on In­ter­na­tional Day Against Child Labour.

It said child labour has no place in well-func­tion­ing and well-reg­u­lated mar­kets is ev­i­dent. But the re­al­ity is that to­day, child labour re­mains wide­spread in sup­ply chains, said a news re­lease is­sued here. It’s not just the lack of in­sti­tu­tional pro­tec­tion in the ru­ral and in­for­mal economies that in­creases the risk of child labour in sup­ply chains; in house­hold pro­duc­tion and on fam­ily farms, chil­dren are of­ten highly vul­ner­a­ble be­cause par­ents’ in­comes are in­suf­fi­cient or be­cause small fam­ily en­ter­prises and farms can­not af­ford to re­place child labour by hir­ing adults and youth.

Piece rate pro­duc­tion in­creases the risk with child labour help­ing par­ents to make up quo­tas and to as­sure fam­ily sur­vival when par­ents are not earn­ing a liv­ing wage. Global sup­ply chains can of­fer op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­clu­sive de­vel­op­ment for sup­plier firms, work­ers and host coun­tries, but tar­geted ac­tion is needed to as­sure just out­comes.

Beyond child labour in high pro­file, global sup­ply chains, many child labour­ers are also found in sup­ply chains pro­duc­ing for lo­cal and na­tional con­sump­tion and they must not be ig­nored. There are en­cour­ag­ing signs of a will to act and to prevent child labour, to achieve greater trans­parency and vis­i­bil­ity along sup­ply chains as well as more ef­fec­tive en­force­ment of rel­e­vant laws.

The ILO’s Min­i­mum Age Con­ven­tion, 1973 (No. 138) has been rat­i­fied by 168 mem­ber States and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Con­ven­tion, 1999 (No. 182) by 180 - near universal rat­i­fi­ca­tion. Gov­ern­ments are rec­og­niz­ing that the fight against child labour re­quires co­her­ent pol­icy pack­ages to back child labour leg­is­la­tion: qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, so­cial pro­tec­tion and de­cent jobs for par­ents.

Com­pa­nies are in­creas­ingly ex­plor­ing how they might con­trib­ute to elim­i­nat­ing child labour by strength­en­ing the ca­pac­ity of en­ter­prises through­out their sup­ply chains - a com­plex task re­quir­ing part­ner­ships in­volv­ing gov­ern­ments, in­dus­try peers and em­ploy­ers’ and work­ers’ or­ga­ni­za­tions. Fo­rums such as the ILO’s Child Labour Plat­form al­low en­ter­prises to share good prac­tices and de­velop new mod­els for col­lab­o­ra­tion.

Global Frame­work Agree­ments be­tween global trade union fed­er­a­tions and multi­na­tional com­pa­nies are one ex­pres­sion of global co­op­er­a­tion through so­cial di­a­logue. At the grass­roots of value chains too, ru­ral work­ers’ and in­for­mal work­ers’ or­ga­ni­za­tions are ex­pand­ing in­no­va­tive ap­proaches to strengthen col­lec­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion. The ILO’s Tri­par­tite Dec­la­ra­tion of Prin­ci­ples con­cern­ing Multi­na­tional En­ter­prises and So­cial Pol­icy of 1977 rec­og­nizes the role of en­ter­prises in the elim­i­na­tion of child labour. With its fo­cus on de­vel­op­ment and strength­en­ing of en­ter­prise ca­pac­ity and so­cial di­a­logue, this Dec­la­ra­tion holds great po­ten­tial to guide ac­tion against child labour.

The 2030 Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Agenda reaf­firms the goal of end­ing child labour. Act­ing to­gether, it is within our means to make the fu­ture of work a fu­ture with­out child labour.—APP

CHINIOT: A ven­dor ar­rang­ing and dis­play­ing fruit to at­tract cus­tomers to his stall in Sasta Ra­mazan Bazar.

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