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ITUC launches 'Mini Action Guide on Child Labour' guide
Jun '08
On the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour, the ITUC is launching a new “Mini Action Guide on Child Labour,” providing campaigning tools and direct support to trade unions to fight against child labour. According to the ILO, some 218 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are involved in child labour. Many of these children work long hours, often in dangerous conditions.

The guide, which was produced with support from the ILO-IPEC programme, highlights the fact that some sixty-nine percent of working children are involved in agriculture compared with nine percent in industry. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for the largest number of child labourers with 122 million, followed by sub-Saharan Africa (49.3 million) and Latin America and the Caribbean (5.7 million). With twenty-six percent, the proportion of children engaged in economic activities in sub-Saharan Africa is currently the highest of any region in the world. Child labour can also be found in many industrialised countries.

According to the ITUC mini guide of action, trade unions have a responsibility to society and workers in general to ensure that labour standards and legislation are respected by all employers at all levels. Workers' organisations have a long tradition of defending human rights and workers' rights, and child labour violates both children's and adults' rights.

The World Day Against Child Labour this year is emphasizing education as a key factor in the eradication of child labour. The day will be marked around the world with activities to raise awareness that education is the right response to child labour. Around 72 million children of primary school age are not enrolled in school. There are also many who are enrolled but who do not attend regularly or who drop out.

Good quality education and training is necessary for children if they are to acquire the skills necessary to succeed in the labour market; such education and training is also important to economically and socially excluded children and youth so that they can lift themselves out of poverty. Wherever children miss out on education, poverty will continue from one generation to the next, explains the mini guide.

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