The first Convention has achieved universal ratification in the history of the ILO

  • All 187 member States of the International Labour Organization (ILO) have ratified the ILO Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 (C 182).

The C 182 is the most rapidly ratified Convention in the history of the Organization, since its adoption 21 years ago by the International Labour Conference.

“The C182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour provides critical legal protections to all children against the worst forms of child labour including slavery and debt bondage; trafficking of children; children forced to participate in armed conflict; used for commercial sexual exploitation or in illicit activities; or subjected to hazardous work. It reflects a global commitment that the worst forms of child labour have no place in our society.” said ILO Liaison Officer/Representative Mr. Donglin LI.

Child labour perpetuates poverty across generations, interrupts education, lowering workforce productivity and condemning affected children to a lifetime of poorly paid, unstable employment, usually in the informal economy.

There are still 152 million children in child labour, 73 million of whom are in hazardous work. 71 percent of child labour is in agriculture, and two-thirds of it is unpaid family work. The incidence of child labour and its worst forms dropped by almost 40 per cent between 2000 and 2016, as ratification rates of ILO C182 and C138 on minimum age to work increased, and countries adopted effective laws and policies.

Myanmar ratified the ILO C182 on the worst forms of child labour in 2013 and the ILO C138 on minimum age to work in 2020. It has made remarkable progress in addressing the child labour issues. However, the fight against child labour is not won yet and much work remains to be done. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse years of progress.

Ending child labour by 2025 in all its forms is included under Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all UN Member States in 2015. The universal ratification of C182 demonstrates the will of all ILO member States to ensure that every child, everywhere, is free from child labour and its worst forms.

Mr. LI stated “with the universal ratification of Convention 182, and with the determination to build back better from the current C-19 crisis, we have an opportunity to work together with all stakeholders to deliver on the promise of C182 and put an end to child labour in all its forms in Myanmar”.

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