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close this bookAction Against Child Labour (ILO; 2000; 356 pages)
View the documentPreface
close this folder1. National policies and programmes
View the documentINTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contents1.1 STRATEGIC ACTION AGAINST CHILD LABOUR
View the documentEspecially vulnerable groups
View the documentMain policy and programme directions
View the documentDirect action and capacity building
View the documentAppendix 1.1 Terms of reference for a comprehensive report on child labour
View the documentAppendix 1.2 Ideas for group work in national planning workshops on child labour
View the documentAppendix 1.3 Example of a national plan of action on child labour, Cambodia, 1997
View the documentAppendix 1.4 Pointers to project design
Open this folder and view contents2. Towards improved legislation
Open this folder and view contents3. Improving the knowledge base on child labour
Open this folder and view contents4. Alternatives to child labour
Open this folder and view contents5. Strategies to address child slavery
Open this folder and view contents6. Strategies for employers and their organizations
Open this folder and view contents7. Trade unions against child labour
Open this folder and view contents8. Awareness-raising
Open this folder and view contents9. Action by community groups and NGOs
Open this folder and view contents10. Resources on child labour
View the documentOther ILO publications
View the documentBack Cover

Especially vulnerable groups

Although a policy on child labour should aim at the abolition of all child labour, flagrant cases of child abuse require priority attention. That is why IPEC participating countries have started to place priority on children that are particularly vulnerable.

In the June 1999 session of the International Labour Conference, ILO member States adopted a new Convention concerning immediate action for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour (see Chapter 2, section 2.4). The worst forms of child labour which should be eliminated as a priority, are:

• all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour, including the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict;

• the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances;

• the use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs; and

• work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.

The difficulties in identifying and locating the children in such situations needs to be recognized: often they are deliberately held captive, isolated and with no access to information and services. In addition, there remain many ambiguities in defining hazardous work. While it is fairly easy to agree on child labour which constitutes a serious violation of human rights, it may be more difficult to define the particularly dangerous occupations and industries. There are, in fact, countless work situations that are liable to seriously harm the physical integrity of children (underground work in mines, work in the construction industry, handling pesticides and so on). In other instances, the work is not intrinsically hazardous but becomes so as a result of the poor conditions under which it is carried out (intense heat or cold, dust and fumes, long working hours, and sexual or other harassment).

Box 1.5. The Philippines - ILO action against the most exploitative and hazardous forms of child labour

During a national planning workshop in the Philippines in 1994, it was recognized that priorities should be set within sectors or occupations which pose a direct danger of physical or emotional injury to the children employed. Within a time frame of two to five years, the following groups were identified for priority action:

children who are the victims of trafficking;

children employed in mining and quarrying;

children in home-based industries, especially under subcontracting arrangements; and

children trapped in prostitution.

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