A report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) reveals that child labor in 28 low- and middle-income countries inhibits a stable, safe job future for affected children. The same reports highlights that to get more youth into jobs, child labor must be contained and topple through quality education.
“Child labor, in other words, not only poses immediate health, safety and development risks, but is also associated with compromised earning prospects and less chance of securing decent work in the longer term,” the ILO report reveals.
About 168 million children are in involved in child labor throughout developing countries. At the moment, 75 million 15 to 24 year olds are without a job.
According to Reuters, the ILO report also reveals that in the Asia-Pacific region alone, there are about 78 million child laborers. In the sub-Saharan Africa region, child labor is at 21 percent, or at 59 million children.
The report sets forth ways to minimize child labor highlighting the importance of early interventions that provide free, mandatory and quality education to children. Social policies can also offer safety nets that discourage families from pushing their children into labor, the report emphasizes.
In May 2015, Costa Rica announced its program to eradicate child labor by 2020. The initiative aims to take about 40,000 children out of the workforce. Should the initiative accomplish its objectives for 2015, 28,000 children will be removed from underage work.
The initiative to eradicate child labor does so through the coordinated work of several government initiatives and local actors. These collaborations take action against poverty and focus on improving health and education opportunities for children. Awareness-raising and an improvement of child labor law is also of primary importance.
According to Noortje Denkers, a program official for the International Labour Organization’s International Programme, child labor in Central America is widespread:
“Most child laborers work in the agricultural sector, frequently in family businesses without any remuneration. Many others are involved in hazardous work, putting at risk their health, safety, moral development and, in some cases, their own lives.”
However, coordinated action is underway thanks to the The Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour Regional Initiative with twenty-five participating countries.
Child labor initiatives and events are escalating in view of the World Day against Child Labor celebrated on June 12.
A free concert against child labor has been organized in the Philippines. The concert marked the World Day Against Child Labor, with artists and rock bands participating in the event including Noel Cabangon, Ebe Dancel, Dicta License, Kain Honasan and Reklamo.
“Child labor is wrong,” said Francis de Veyra, musical director and bassist for Radioactive Sago Project. “It doesn’t give children the opportunity to enjoy their childhood. It’s also one of the reasons why they don’t finish their education. It’s really an alarming thing to just be complacent about.”
The Philippines count about 2.1 million child laborers ages 5 to 17. The majority are employed in hazardous work environments, says the Philippine Statistics Authority.