Labour group chief criticises reduced efforts to combat child workers

Buenos Aires –  Efforts to combat child labour have slowed, according to the head of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), as a conference on the topic started in Buenos Aires on Tuesday.

Guy Ryder, director general of the ILO, said that the number of working children has fallen by some 100 million since 1997, but the rate of change has slowed markedly.

According to the latest estimates, half of those in forced labour are in dangerous jobs.

“We can’t predict how labour markets will change in the future, but we do know one thing, we want no more children labour and no more modern slavery,’’ Ryder said at the conference.

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Delegates are discussing ways to end child labour, which experts say affects every 10th child on earth.

According to the latest estimates, some 152 million children worldwide are in child labour.

The fourth international conference on child labour, organised by the ILO and bringing together experts from 193 countries, has the goal of ending child labour by 2025.

“Eighty-nine million people experienced some form of modern slavery for periods of time ranging from a few days to five years” over the last five years, Andrew Forrest, chairman of the Walk Free Foundation, said in the build-up to the three-day conference.

He said this, however, showed a shocking tolerance of exploitation. (dpa/NAN)

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