SEATTLE (ILO News) - "U.S. President Clinton's signing today in Seattle of the instruments of ratification of the new international Convention against the worst forms of child labour here and globally with events focussing on women in sports and the world of work.
"President Clinton's action today, following the US senate's unanimous approval of the Convention on 5 November, offers strong evidence of the rapidly growing global movement to target and eradicate the most abusive forms of child labour. It is our fervent hope that each and every one of the 174 member States of the ILO will soon follow this example so that, building on this achievement, the 21st century may become the first to be child labour free".
The International Labour Conference - the supreme deliberative body of the ILO - adopted the Convention No. 182 on 17 June 1999 by a unanimous vote. The ILO immediately launched a global campaign for ratification encouraging every country to place the issue high on the agenda of their legislative bodies.
The Seychelles and Malawi were the first two countries to ratify Convention No. 182. Because ILO Conventions enter into force twelve months after the registration of a second ratification, Malawi's ratification on 19 November means that the Convention will enter into force on 19 November 2000.
Under the terms of the Convention, the worst of forms of child labour include:-
- Slavery and practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, forced or compulsory labour, debt bondage and serfdom;
- Child prostitution and child pornography;
- Use of children in illegal activities, including drug production and trafficking; and
- Work which is likely to jeopardize the health, safety or morals of children.
Among other actions, the Convention requires ratifying States to: