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165 m child workers worldwide - ILO

Colombo: Today is International Day Against Child Labour. The Labour Relations and Manpower Ministry will observe this day by organising 50 awareness programmes for parents with the help of District Labour Offices countrywide, the Ministry said in a press release.

The release said according to latest ILO statistics there were more than 165 million children between the ages of five to 14 engaged in child labour worldwide. The ILO declared an International Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to muster world attention towards the need to totally eradicate child labour. Accordingly, June 12 is observed as International Day Against Child Labour.

According to the Women, Youth and Child Labour Act No. 47 of 1956 engaging of a child below 14 years in any kind of labour is a punishable offence. Anyone flouting this regulation is liable for a fine not exceeding Rs. 10,000 or a jail sentence not exceeding one year or both. Furthermore the accused is liable to pay a sum decided by the Judge as compensation to the abused child.

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Today is Int'l Day Against Child Labour

World Day Against Child Labour which falls today will be marked by events in many countries with a focus on the need to improve access of children to education as the right response to child labour.

The International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) of the International Labour Office (ILO) says that of some 218 million child labourers Worldwide, millions are either denied educational opportunities that would give them a better future or must balance work with education.

IPEC says this may be due to the costs involved, because their families rely on them to work, or simply because there are no available school facilities.

To tackle child labour, the ILO called on Governments to provide education for all children at least to the minimum age of employment; education programmes that reach out to child labourers and other socially excluded groups helping to bring these children back into education, and properly resourced and quality education and skills training, with trained and professional teachers.

 

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