Child labour decreasing: ILO
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has said the number of child workers has gone down around the world, including in Nepal, over the last four years.
A report entitled, “The end of child labour: Within reach” publicized by ILO said the number of child labourers employed worldwide fell from 246 million to 218 million between 2000 and 2004 and expressed confidence that the worst forms of child labour can be eliminated in 10 years.
Speaking at the report release ceremony, Pracha Vasuprasat, office in-charge of the ILO, said, "Despite all problems in Nepal, the report shows Nepal has made improvement in reducing the worst forms of the child labour among the Asian countries."
He informed that the number of child labour decreased by 1.6 percent annually in Nepal. He informed that the number of child labourers declined to 1.83 million in the year 2003/04 as compared to 1.98 million of the year 1998/99. “Of the 127,143 working in the worst form of child labour, 14,533 have been withdrawn during the period,” he added.
The number of labourers aged 5-17 years in hazardous works decreased to 126 million in 2004 as opposed to 171 million in the previous estimate.
According to the report, political commitment through the adoption of coherent policies in the areas of poverty reduction and basic education and human rights is central to the progress made by countries, both past and present, in combating child labour.Despite considerable progress in the fight against child labour, the report also highlights important challenges, particularly in the agriculture sector, where seven out of 10 child labourers work. Other challenges include addressing the impact of HIV/AIDS on child labourers, and building stronger links between child labourers and youth employment concerns.
The report calls for greater national efforts, involving organisations representing employers and workers, as well as governments - the partners that make up the tripartite ILO.