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ILO adopts Convention banning worst forms of child labour

May 5, 1999 · 

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Published in the Bureau of Public Information, ILO

Geneva- International Labour Organisation (ILO) member States on June 17, 99 took a decisive step towards liberating scores of millions of children from slavery and debt bondage, prostitution and pornography, dangerous work and forcible recruitment for armed conflict.

The new Convention called “Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention 1999” was adopted at the 87th annual International Labour Conference in Geneva. It applies to all persons under the age of 18 and calls for “immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency.”

The new Convention reflects widespread concern over the past years that there should be an immediate end to the worst forms of child labour. It defines for the first time what constitutes the “worst forms of child labour”, and includes a ban on forced or compulsory recruitment of child soldiers. It calls for international cooperation on social and economic development, poverty eradication and education to realize its terms, and provides for broad consultation among governments, workers, and employers.

It defines the worst forms of child Labour as: all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage, serfdom and forced or compulsory labour, forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict; use of a child for prostitution, production of pornography or pornographic performances; use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activates, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs, and, work which is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.

The Convention requires ratifying States to “design and implement programmes of action” to eliminate the worst forms of child labour as a priority and “establish or designate appropriate mechanisms” for monitoring implementation of the Convention, in consultation with employers’ and workers’ organisations.
(Bureau of Public Information, ILO)

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