All 187 countries that are members of the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) have now ratified a convention to protect children from the worst forms of child labour, including slavery, prostitution and trafficking.
Formally known as Convention No. 182, the treaty, adopted two decades ago, achieved universal ratification earlier this month, making it the most rapidly ratified Convention in the UN agency’s 101-year history. The ILO Director-General Guy Ryder remarked: “Universal ratification of Convention 182 is an historic first that means that all children now have legal protection against the worst forms of child labour”.
The UN estimates that 152 million children worldwide are affected, with 73 million in hazardous work with most child labour taking place in the agriculture sector, mainly due to poverty and parents’ difficulties in finding decent work.
The good news is that this ratification reflects a growing global commitment that the worst forms of child labour, such as slavery, sexual exploitation, the use of children in armed conflict or other illicit or hazardous work that compromises children’s health, morals or psychological wellbeing, have no place in our society.
Brigidine Sisters recognize that we all have a part to play in ending child labour. Thus we will continue to advocate for the rights of children, take some action against the injustices of child labour and commit to the purchasing of ethically produced products which have no slavery involved in their production.