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ABSTRACT

INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION


Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)

The Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the
Worst Forms of Child Labour, known in short as the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention,
was adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1999 as ILO Convention No
182. It is one of eight ILO fundamental conventions.

By ratifying this Convention No. 182, a country commits itself to taking immediate action to
prohibit and eliminate the worst forms of child labour. The Convention is enjoying the fastest
pace of ratifications in the ILO's history since 1919.

A majority of countries have adopted legislation to prohibit or place severe restrictions on the
employment of children, much of it stimulated and guided by standards adopted by the
International Labour Organization (ILO). In spite of these efforts, child labour continues to
exist on a massive scale, sometimes in appalling conditions, particularly in the developing
world. If progress has been slow or apparently non-existent, this is because child labour is an
immensely complex issue. It cannot be made to disappear simply by the stroke of a pen. It is
inextricably linked to poverty. Children work because their survival and that of their families
depend on it, and in many cases because unscrupulous adults take advantage of their
vulnerability. It is also due to inadequacies and weaknesses in national educational systems. It
is deeply ingrained in cultural and social attitudes and traditions. For all these reasons, even
when it has been declared illegal, child labour continues to be tolerated and accepted as the
natural order of things – and much of it is invisible. It is frequently surrounded by a wall of
silence, indifference and apathy. But that wall is beginning to crumble. The process of
globalization and the development of modern means of communication have made the plight
of working children a major issue on the agenda of the international community. While it is
now widely recognized that the total elimination of child labour can only be a very long-term
goal in most developing countries, there is a growing international consensus that certain forms
of child labour are so unacceptable and harmful to the welfare of the children concerned that
they can no longer be tolerated.

Convention 182 outlines the 5 worst forms of labour that must be eradicated in order to step up
the fight against child labour. They are as follows:
 Slavery or similar practices, such as the sale or trade of children or the use of children
in debt bondage or serfdom;

 Obligatory or forced work, including the compulsory recruitment of children for use in
armed conflicts;

 The recruitment, use or offer of a child for involvement in prostitution, pornographic


material or pornographic shows;

 The use, recruitment or offer of a child for illicit activities, notably in the production or
trafficking of drugs, as defined in the specific international treaties;

 Work which, by its very nature or the conditions in which it is undertaken, is likely to
jeopardise the health, safety or morality of children.

The International Labour Organisation (the ILO) has regulated child labour through the
Minimum Age Convention and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention. Such
conventions aim at the reduction and eventual elimination of harmful labour practices. After
the ratification of such conventions, many countries have adopted domestic laws prohibiting
harmful labour. Despite such regulations, statistics prove that children still participate in
harmful work.

Sanyam Jain 2016085

Yogesh Garg 2016125