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ILO: 165 million children put to labour, 85 million of which hazardous
June 12, 2017, 7:09 pm

The International Labour Organization warned on Monday that 168 million children around the world are being put to child labour, including 85 million involved in hazardous work. The UN agency's Director-General Guy Ryder also warned of the vulnerability of child refugees, who are at risk of falling prey to human trafficking, sexual exploitation or child labour.

"Children in areas affected by conflict and disasters are among the most vulnerable. No child must be left behind," Ryder said in a statement on the World Day Against Child Labour. "In areas affected by conflict and disaster, homes and schools are often destroyed. Many families lose their means to earn a living. Family and social protection systems break down and increase the risk of child labour.

"Child refugees and migrants, particularly those on the move who are separated from their families, are especially vulnerable and can easily fall prey to trafficking and child labour." Some of these children are being put through "hazardous" roles, he said, such as mining, unearthing metals in conflict zones, soldiers, spies or are exploited sexually.

"All children have the right to be protected from child labour," said Ryder, adding that around 168 million children have been put to labour around the world - some 85 million of whom are engaged in "hazardous work." Furthermore, the ILO chief welcomed India's ratification of the ILO's Minimum Age and Worst Forms of Child Labour conventions as 169th and 180th member respectively.

With India's addition, global coverage of these conventions will leap from 60 to 80 percent, he added. The ILO's success stories include the withdrawal children from child labour in Haiti, Myanmar, Nepal and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These children have been given an alternative in quality education, he said.

However, the ILO chief underlined that "much more needs to be done" to protect refugees, noting that the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commits countries to eliminate all forms of child labour by 2025.

Source: KUNA

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