Geneva: The Director General of International Labour Organisation (ILO), Guy Ryder, yesterday warned that there are still 152 million victims of child labour worldwide and called on the international community to work together to achieve total eradication of juvenile workers by 2025.
Ryder, while addressing world leaders at a press conference to mark the 2018 World Day against child labour with the theme: “Generation Safe & Healthy and the 20th Anniversary of Global March against Child Labour,” in Geneva, Switzerland, acknowledged that progress has been made in the past 21 years but warned that there is still a long way to go to eradicate child labour in all its forms.
“There are still 152 million children victims of child labour, that is, almost one in 10 in the world. Of those, almost half are in hazardous work. We need to recognise that progress made has been very uneven.
“Target 8.7 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda calls for the elimination of child labour in all its forms by 2025 and of forced labour by 2030”, he said.
According to the ILO Director-General, the eradication of child labour requires an integrated approach that tackles deep and systemic causes of child labour and does not focus only on treating the symptoms.
He contended that the latest ILO estimates indicate that there are 25 million victims of forced labour worldwide.
“The goals to eradicate the 25 million victims of forced labour cannot be clearer as well as the uncomfortable reality that if we do not do more and better, we will not achieve them,” Ryder warned.
“As we celebrate the World Day Against Child Labour and the 20 years of the Global March today at the 107th Session of the International Labour Conference, we must turn this renewed commitment into accelerated action and consign child labour to the dustbin of history, once and for all.”
It would be recalled that in 1998, seven million people marched across five continents to demand for the ILO Convention 182 against worst forms of child labour.