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Message From Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General Of UNESCO, On The Occasion Of World Day Against Child Labour - 12 June 2009
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The fact that some 218 million children between the age of 5 and 17 are forced to work is an affront to human dignity and a violation of their right to education. This year’s World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June puts the spotlight on girls because they suffer from multiple forms of
discrimination. More than 100 million girls are trapped in child labour. They work for their families but they are also exposed to some of the most extreme forms of exploitation such as bonded labour, slavery, prostitution and pornography. While the number of child labourers has fallen by 1 1 per cent since 2000 and by 33 per cent for children engaged in hazardous work, the latter still involves 74 million children under the age of 14. The ILO Minimum Age Convention for Admission to Employment (1973) forbids work under age 15. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of ILO Convention No. 182 Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour. It notably requires governments to take into account the special situation of female child labourers. Child labour is nearly always rooted in poverty compounded by other forms of marginalization: gender, language, ethnicity, disability and rural-urban differences. This is why the current economic and financial crisis calls for heightened vigilance and urgent measures to mitigate its
impact on the poorest. According to forecasts, an additional 50 to 90 million people could be driven into extreme poverty. Evidence shows that child labour often increases during an economic downturn, as parents remove their children from school to supplement family income and delay the entry of their youngest children. Girls are all the more vulnerable in times of crises. It would be an unforgivable setback for development if we let the progress made since 2000 slide. More children – and more girls – are in school than ever before. But the threats to education are serious. The economic slowdown means potential cutbacks in national spending on education and cutbacks in aid to education. Figures for 2007 – before the crisis – already point to a 22 per cent drop in aid to basic education.
Publisher:
UNESCO ,   (2009 )
Type / Script:
Press Release in English
Keywords:
CHILD LABOUR, RIGHT TO EDUCATION, LABOUR, SLAVERY, PROSTITUTION, PORNOGRAPHY, FAMILY INCOME, CHILD LABOUR, POVERTY, HUMAN DIGNITY
Thematic Group:
 UNESCO : Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Thesaurus:
14.05.04  -  Welfare And Social Services
Reference Link:
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