Fighting child labour cannot be a temporary effort

Fighting child labour cannot be a temporary effort


“On behalf of children
and teenagers everywhere we are asking the nine countries
who haven’t done so, to sign ILO’s Convention 182 before
the next Global Conference on Child Labour, to protect their children from
the worst forms of child labour.” [Guy Ryder, ILO’s Director-General]
“We have some very clear lessons coming out of the debates: the fact that denial, which used to be part
of the debate on child labour, has turned to recognition
of the problems that we have. We understand the problems better. We know what works to bring
an end to child labour. And I see political will continuing to grow, not just amongst governments, but also amongst all of the other actors
who are here, each taking on their own responsibilities. I want to tell you that the ILO also will be a team player in
the United Nations system in the continuing struggle for children’s rights. We had the special representatives of my boss, the UN General-Secretary taking part
in our conference, and I think their contribution was important and part of our global partnership for the future. But our work of preparation for the next
Global Conference will not start in 3 or 4 years. It starts now, it starts tomorrow. The big question I think is
what will the numbers of child labourers be when we gather for the next Global Conference? That 168 million is engrained in our minds today. Let’s go home thinking what numbers
we are going to aim at for 2017. And as Kailash (Satyarthi) has just reminded us, for the worst forms of child labour, the number should already be a big round zero.” [Luis Inácio Lula da Silva]
“The map of child labour across the world correlates with the map
of hunger and poverty whether in big cities or in the countryside. Child labourers are part of the 870 million people who are hungry and malnourished in the world. Of course there are other reasons
for child labour including cultural factors, national economic structures
and unjust political systems. But misery and hunger
are the main determining factors. There is no father in the world who, given the chance to raise his family
with a minimum level of dignity, would ever expose his own son
to a dangerous job. There isn’t a single mother out there who wouldn’t care that her children
have had to give up on childhood, and who wouldn’t rather
see them growing up healthy, playing and learning like all children should. When delegates go back to their countries and start discussing with
their own governments, it’s important to remember
that policies to combat child labour, fight hunger and improve education
cannot be temporary, something that you only invest in when you have the money and
put aside when the money dries up.”

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