The International Labour Organisation (ILO) for the first time, after 21 years of adopting Convention 182, all the member states ratified the Convention on worst forms of child labour.
ILO Convention No.182 on Worst Forms of Child Labour achieved universal ratification, following ratification by the Kingdom of Tonga.
Ambassador for the Kingdom of Tonga, Titilupe Fanetupouvava’u Tuivakano, formally deposited the ratification instruments with ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder on 4 August 2020.
The Director-General of ILO, Guy Ryder said the action reflects a global commitment that provided legal protection against the worst forms of child labour.
He said this is the end of the use of children in armed conflict or other illicit hazardous work that compromises children’s health, slavery, sexual exploitation, moral or psychological wellbeing, and others in society.
“Universal ratification of Convention 182 is a historic first that means that all children now have legal protection against the worst forms of child labour. It reflects a 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.”
Also, the Secretary-General of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Sharan Burrow, described the universal ratification as a welcome development.
“Universal ratification of Convention 182 is a potent and timely reminder of the importance of ILO standards and the need for multilateral solutions to global problems. Child labour is a grievous violation of fundamental rights, and it is incumbent on the ILO’s constituents and the international community to ensure that this Convention is fully implemented, including through due diligence in global supply chains,” she said.
“The universal ratification of ILO Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour is a historic moment,” said Roberto Suárez Santos, Secretary-General of the International Organization of Employers (IOE). “Throughout the years, the IOE and its member organizations have supported the implementation of this Convention. Today, the business community is both aware of and acting on the need to do business with respect for children’s rights. This is even more urgent in the times of the covid-19 pandemic. We cannot allow the fight against the worst form of child labour to backslide. Together we can work towards the end of child labour in all its forms.”
This universal ratification is a further step towards making more concrete the aspirations of Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate when he said: “I dream of a world full of safe children and safe childhoods; …I dream of a world where every child enjoys the freedom to be a child.”