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close this bookAction Against Child Labour (ILO; 2000; 356 pages)
View the documentPreface
Open this folder and view contents1. National policies and programmes
close this folder2. Towards improved legislation
View the documentINTRODUCTION
View the document2.1 LEGISLATION AND THE FIGHT AGAINST CHILD LABOUR
View the document2.2 SOURCES OF LAW ON CHILD LABOUR
Open this folder and view contents2.3 INTERNATIONAL LABOUR STANDARDS AND NATIONAL LEGISLATION
View the document2.4 NEW INTERNATIONAL LABOUR STANDARDS ON THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOUR
View the document2.5 OTHER INTERNATIONAL TREATIES
View the document2.6 INITIATIVES TO IMPROVE CHILD LABOUR LEGISLATION
View the document2.7 LESSONS LEARNED
View the documentChecklist 2.1 General principles
View the documentChecklist 2.2 Improving national legislation
View the documentChecklist 2.3 Legislation on bonded labour
View the documentChecklist 2.4 Involving employers' and workers' organizations, and others
View the documentAppendix 2.1 ILO Conventions on child labour and forced labour (as at 31 July 1999)
View the documentAppendix 2.2 Minimum ages in ILO Conventions
View the documentAppendix 2.3 Ratification of ILO Conventions on child labour and forced labour (as at 31 August 1999)
View the documentAppendix 2.4 Chart of ratifications of ILO Conventions on child labour and forced labour by country (as at 31 August 1999:
View the documentAppendix 2.5 Excerpts from selected ILO standards on child labour
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
 

2.5 OTHER INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

Several other international treaties are relevant to child labour and the protection of children from exploitative and hazardous work. Foremost among these is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, which has been almost universally ratified16. This Convention is the most comprehensive treaty on the rights of children, whom it defines as persons under the age of 18, unless the age of majority is attained earlier. It seeks to protect a wide range of children's rights, including the right to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with their education, or to be harmful to their health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.

16 Other instruments include the International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery; and the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.

The Convention requires States parties to take legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to ensure implementation and, in particular, to provide for (a) a minimum age for admission to employment, (b) appropriate regulation of the hours and conditions of employment, and (c) appropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure the effective enforcement of its provisions, taking into account the relevant provisions of other international instruments. The Committee on the Rights of the Child, which oversees implementation of this Convention, has identified ILO Convention No. 138 as being of key importance17 and urges States parties that have not already ratified it to do so.

17 See UNICEF: Implementation handbook for the Convention on the Rights of the Child (New York, 1998).

The right of the child to education is also recognized under this Convention, which provides that primary education should be compulsory and available free to all. Several other articles have a particular bearing on some of the worst forms of child labour, such as sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, the abduction of, sale of or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form, and all other forms of exploitation prejudicial to any aspects of the child's welfare. It calls on States parties to take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of neglect, exploitation or abuse.

Box 2.21. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Article 32 recognizes the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and any work that is likely:

to be hazardous; or

to interfere with the child's education; or

to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.

Other relevant articles include:

Article 33, requiring States parties to take measures to prevent the use of children in illicit production and trafficking of narcotic drugs;

Article 34, requiring protection against sexual exploitation;

Article 35, prevention of abduction, sale and trafficking of children for any purpose;

Article 36, requiring protection against all other forms of exploitation prejudicial to any aspects of the child's welfare;

Article 28, granting a child's right to education; and

Article 39, providing for measures to promote the physical and psychological recovery and social integration of child victims.

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