India ratifies two ILO conventions on child labour

Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said ratification of the two ILO Conventions reaffirmed India's "commitment to a child labour free society", according to an ILO statement. He said the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.

The two conventions were ratified months after amendment to the Child Labour Act and include Convention 138, which sets minimum age for admission to employment and Convention 182, which penalises and prohibits the worst form of child labour.

In a series of tweets on the ratification, Satyarthi said he attributed the "achievement to millions of children who marched with me in 1998 across 103 countries to demand" the adoption of the Minimum Wage Convention.

The involvement of these countries in the Convention clearly shows that support for the movement against child labour is gaining momentum worldwide, he said.

It also prohibits the use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in the relevant global treaties.

About 250 million children worldwide live in areas affected by clashes and a majority of them are recruited to work as soldiers and spies, the International Labor Organization (ILO) reported yesterday.

The Chief of Staff noted that pervasive poverty had compelled many families to engage their children from five to 17 years in hazardous Labour that was injurious to their health, mental and psychological wellbeing. Many of those who feel this way have always been frustrated with a system that offers no quick remedies and that shows only a slow improvement in the most sensitive area of child labour.

"We will support UN, ILO plan on child labour and also policies that concern children, and we will see if we have legislations that would bring stability and dignity in their lives, " he said.

A significant portion these children find themselves undertaking unsafe work, living in areas affected by conflict and disaster and they are the focus of the 2017 commemoration of the World Day Against Child Labour.

In such dire situations, children are often the first to suffer as schools are destroyed and basic services are disrupted.

Children displaced by conflict and disasters move out of their homes and become vulnerable as they find themselves separated from their parents and relatives, the ILO said.

"We all recognize the great progress India has made against child labor in recent years". At the same time, around 200 million people are affected by disasters every year.

To create more impact at community level, Government has also formed 22 district child labour committees country-wide and is working in conjunction with the International Labour Organisation and other stakeholders to build capacity of committees.

During the 2017 commemoration of the World Day Against Child Labour recently, it was revealed that 595,000 children are employed in various economic sectors across the country, 58 percent of whom are below the age of 14.

Ryder particularly asked support to those States on the front line in the affected regions, so that they can provide access to the labour market for adult refugees and access to education for their children.

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