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Miseries of children in work

by James Tweedie

UP TO three in 10 children in poor countries leave school and start work before they reach 15, a new report revealed yesterday.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) report, published ahead of today’s World Day against Child Labour, also showed that young people who work as children are consistently more likely to have to settle for unpaid family jobs or to be in low-paid or hazardous employment.

The report concluded that children who work tend to do worse in education and end up in jobs that fail to meet basic decent work criteria.

Early school-leavers were less likely to secure stable jobs and were at greater risk of remaining outside the world of work altogether, it said.

The report recommended intervention to get children out of child labour and into school, as well as measures to help the transition from school to decent work opportunities for young people.

2014 Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate Kailash Satyarthi, addressing the ILO’s International Labour Conference in Geneva yesterday, called for a change of attitudes.

“When we consider our biological children, we think that they are born to become doctors, engineers, and professors — the whole world is for them. Let us consider all children our children.”

ILO director-general Guy Ryder said: “Our report shows the need for a coherent policy approach that tackles child labour and the lack of decent jobs for youth together.

“Keeping children in school and receiving a good education until at least the minimum age of employment will determine the whole life of a child.”

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