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.
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.
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.
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