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ILO-en-strap

86th Session
Geneva, June 1998


 

 

Report of the Committee on Child Labour

Discussion in Plenary
Proposed conclusions

Introduction

1. The Committee on Child Labour was set up by the International Labour Conference at its first sitting on 2 June 1998. It was originally composed of 181 members (89 Government members, 38 Employer members and 54 Worker members). To achieve equality of voting strength, each Government member with voting rights was allotted 513 votes, each Employer member 1,161 votes and each Worker member 817 votes. The composition of the Committee was modified ten times during the session and the number of votes attributed to each member was adjusted accordingly.(1)

2. The Committee elected its Officers as follows:

Chairperson: Mr. A. Atsain (Government member, Côte d'Ivoire);

Vice-Chairpersons: Mr. B. Botha (Employer member, South Africa), and Mr. L. Trotman (Worker member, Barbados).

Reporter: Ms. H. Melkas (Government member, Finland).

3. At its thirteenth sitting, the Committee appointed a Drafting Committee composed of the following members: Ms. T. Janjua (Government member, Pakistan), Ms. A. Benhamou (Employer member, France), Ms. R. Noonan (Worker member, New Zealand), and the Reporter of the Committee, Ms. H. Melkas (Government member, Finland).

4. The Committee held 18 sittings and had before it Reports VI(1) and VI(2), prepared by the Office on the sixth item on the agenda of the Conference: "Child labour".

5. Mr. Taqi, Assistant Director-General of the International Labour Office, welcomed the members of the Committee on Child Labour. He emphasized the importance of the issues to be discussed and pointed out that the question of child labour had aroused much interest, not only among the ILO constituents but also the wider public. Therefore, great expectations had been put on the Committee. Child labour had been placed on the agenda of the 1998 International Labour Conference by a unanimous decision of the Governing Body of the ILO in March 1996 with a view to the adoption of new international standards which would place priority on immediate action to stop the most intolerable or extreme forms of child labour. That decision had been supported at an Informal Tripartite Meeting at the Ministerial Level which took place during the 1996 International Labour Conference and by a resolution adopted by the same Conference. Mr. Taqi said that a sharply focused instrument was needed. Further, the proposed new instruments were not intended to supplant or replace the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), which would remain as the basic ILO standard on child labour.

6. The representative of the Secretary-General presented Reports VI(1) and VI(2) which had been prepared by the Office as the basis for the Committee's discussions. Child labour was a problem enormous in scale and widespread throughout the world. At least 250 million children were affected. Although primarily a developing country problem, it existed also in industrialized countries and transition economies. Millions of children worked in extremely hazardous occupations and conditions, having a severe impact on their health, morals and even lives.

7. While legislation alone was not sufficient to tackle the child labour problem, effective laws and regulations were fundamental to underpin action against child labour. An essential first element in national legislation was the unambiguous fixing of a minimum age for admission to hazardous work which, under the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) should not be less than age 18. Whereas a good number of countries had fixed 18 or higher as the appropriate minimum age, many had legislation allowing for an earlier admission to hazardous work or did not clearly specify the prohibited sectors or occupations. To have an impact, legislation had to be enforced and applied. Yet enforcement mechanisms were weak in many countries and posed a major obstacle to effective legal protection against child labour.

8. Practical action also had to be an integral part of any strategy to eliminate extreme forms of child labour. Assisted by the ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), a rapidly growing number of countries were developing and implementing national plans of action, focusing in particular on extreme forms of child labour.

9. The representative of the Secretary-General noted the large and positive response to the questionnaire on proposed new standards and that an overwhelming majority had supported a new instrument on extreme forms of child labour. Most had opted for a Convention supplemented by a Recommendation. He emphasized that the proposed new instruments had to be put in the context of current international standards relevant to child labour. The Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) remained the fundamental policy of the ILO; the proposed new standards were intended to complement that Convention with a view to ensuring that certain forms of child labour were eliminated immediately. The Proposed Conclusions submitted to the Conference were short and contained fundamental principles. Yet they also allowed for sufficient flexibility to facilitate wide ratification. The terminology to be used when referring to the worst forms of child labour had yet to be agreed. The Office had proposed the expression "extreme forms of child labour" to comprise: (i) all forms of slavery and practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, forced or compulsory labour, debt bondage and serfdom; (ii) the use, engagement or offering of a child in illegal activities, for prostitution, production of pornography, or pornographic performances; and (iii) any other type of work or activity which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it was carried out, was likely to jeopardize the health, safety or morals of children, so that they should not be used or engaged in such work or activity under any circumstances.

10. The determination of what constituted hazardous work and whether or not interference with education should be included in the definition of extreme forms of child labour were important and contentious issues. While some replies had proposed that concrete criteria for hazardous work be included in the Convention, others had argued for the need for flexibility at the national level and opposed a more detailed definition in the Convention. Concerning education, its significant role in preventing and combating child labour had long been recognized. The Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) laid down the basic principle that work which interfered with a child's education was prohibited.

11. Some of the replies had hesitated to include such practices as slavery, child prostitution, child pornography and the sale and trafficking of children in the new instruments. While these were crimes which should be treated and attacked as such, they were also forms of economic exploitation akin to forced labour. Including these as extreme forms of child labour would engage societies in addressing the root causes of the problem and the needs of the victims. The replies also supported the provision requiring effective measures for prevention, removal and rehabilitation. Another significant provision was the call for member States to assist each other in giving effect to the provisions of the Convention through international cooperation and assistance.

12. The Proposed Conclusions with a view to a Recommendation included provisions intended to facilitate the implementation of the proposed Convention. They contained important provisions on national programmes of action, which called for special protection of the very young and girls, monitoring mechanisms, and criteria for determining hazardous work. In conclusion, the representative of the Secretary-General stressed that there was an unusually large measure of agreement on the seriousness of the problem and the necessity for a new Convention to focus on the immediate suppression of extreme forms of child labour, which provided a solid framework for a constructive debate. Differences to be overcome were limited and concerned particular issues of terminology, coverage and scope of the Convention.

General discussion

13. The Employer Vice-Chairperson expressed how deeply he had been moved by the events of the day before when participants of the Global March against Child Labour had presented their case to the International Labour Conference. This unprecedented manifestation of the concerns of ordinary people, of local and international media, of activists, of NGOs and of children themselves demonstrated the high expectations that had been raised and hence the importance of the Committee's work. It was, therefore, extremely important that there be clarity about what could and would be achieved during the Committee's deliberations.

14. The Employer Vice-Chairperson reiterated the importance of a concise, simple, focused and realistic text. The Committee would debate whether or not the Convention and Recommendation would be about extreme forms, the most intolerable forms or the most objectionable forms of child labour. The semantics were critical and necessary to ensure a well-focused debate with carefully defined results.

15. He also noted that the proposed instruments were about the first step toward the elimination of all child labour -- the movement of children from work to education by concentrating on the immediate elimination of the most extreme forms of child labour. From the perspective of the Employer members, concerns relating to the total elimination of child labour and the importance of educational facilities were well appreciated, but considered as long-term objectives. The instruments under consideration dealt with extreme forms of child labour; it was therefore the task of the Committee to concentrate on the development of a ratifiable instrument capable of immediate impact in stopping these forms of child labour. It was essential to the credibility of ILO instruments that they be ratified by as many member States as possible. Considering the number of ratifications of the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), the record of the ILO on child labour had not been a particularly successful one, compared with the near universal ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

16. The Employer Vice-Chairperson also cautioned that for the instruments to maintain credibility, they should be practical and capable of being immediately and effectively implemented both in developing and developed countries, and take into account the costs and practicalities of monitoring and implementation. In this respect, he recalled that the following myths had to be confronted: the problem of child labour only concerned the developing world; child labour was an inevitable consequence of poverty and that efforts to combat it were futile; and most child labourers were working in sweatshops to produce cheap goods for export. The reality, however, was that although the majority of working children were found in developing countries, children routinely worked in all countries. Poverty was a major cause of child labour, but also perpetuated poverty. In addition, while child labour in the manufacture of goods imported by developed countries had captured most media attention, only about 5 per cent of all child workers worked in export-sector industries. It was therefore important that solutions to the problem be holistic and capable of breaking the vicious cycle of deprivation that was the consequence of unacceptable forms of child labour.

17. The Employer Vice-Chairperson expressed the determination of the Employer members and the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and its member federations to act against child labour. He recalled the resolution on child labour that the IOE General Council had adopted in 1996 and the Employers' Handbook on child labour: A guide for taking action that had just been released. In closing, he assured the Government and the Worker members of the Committee that the Employer members were committed to supporting instruments that met the criteria he had outlined.

18. The Worker Vice-Chairperson stated that the Worker members supported a clear Convention which was ratifiable, and a Recommendation. In his call for a commitment to stop child labour, he reiterated the words expressed by the children of the Global March against Child Labour, "Do us a favour and stop child labour". He appreciated that the ILO Director-General had recognized the call of the children and had repeatedly stated that "a crime against a child anywhere was a crime against a child everywhere". He added that the proposed instruments would re-establish confidence in the ILO. If the ILO did not act, the children and others outside the ILO would act without it.

19. The Worker Vice-Chairperson also stated that the parts of the world where child labour was most prevalent were also areas where core labour standards were not observed. Instruments were required immediately and action was necessary even before the process of adopting and ratifying the instruments was completed to prevent children in hazardous work from dying or becoming injured in the meantime. Time-bound programmes of action should be established to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, particularly hazardous work.

20. The Worker members also wanted a fundamental human rights Convention that should be action-oriented. They supported both a Convention and Recommendation to complement the ILO Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), which must remain the fundamental Convention on child labour and maintain the minimum ages for admission to employment established in that instrument. The ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) would provide governing principles as well. The Worker members suggested that the instruments might refer to "the worst" forms of child labour, instead of "extreme" forms. Hazardous work should be defined in the Convention and the Convention should require immediate action to suppress those forms of abuse which would be set as priorities at the national level through a tripartite mechanism. Alternate wording, however, would also be proposed to replace "suppression". The ILO and its constituents should work together to resolve the problem of child labour and adhere to the basic rights of workers.

21. The Worker Vice-Chairperson also mentioned the argument sometimes made that children could not be considered legally able to consent to work. He recalled the words of a former child worker from Nepal who believed that children had the right to education and recreation, not the right to work. Further, children should not only be withdrawn and prevented from working, they should also be provided with education and vocational training. Assistance should be provided to countries to address the problem of poverty where an effort was clearly being made. The Worker members also believed that girls should receive special attention in the instruments because of their special problems, particularly in domestic service, and that children should not be considered as criminals, but victims.

22. The Worker members called upon the ILO to encourage governments to support codes of conduct if they had been negotiated by employers' and workers' organizations. The eradication of child labour required good will and the implementation of commitments, thus, those exposing violations of and ensuring compliance with those commitments should be protected from reprisals. The Worker Vice-Chairperson emphasized that children should remain the focal point of the Committee's work. The Worker members wanted to participate in making history and the world a better place by ending child labour.

23. The Government member of the United Kingdom spoke on behalf of the Government members of the Member States of the European Union (EU) (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom) and reaffirmed that the elimination of harmful forms of child labour was a high priority of the EU. He cited measures adopted in 1997 by the EU to combat the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children after the Stockholm World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. They, too, were grateful to the children of the Global March for their message. He pointed out that the continuing prevalence of harmful child labour, even in the face of existing international standards, had made it necessary to have a new Convention focused on the worst, or extreme forms of child labour to complement Convention No. 138, Convention No. 29 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. A new Convention should be clear and focused to make universal ratification more likely. Nonetheless, sight should not be lost of the total elimination of child labour and of the goals set by the Amsterdam Child Labour Conference and the International Conference on Child Labour in Oslo, which had been held in 1997.

24. The Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the Government members of the Group of Industrialized Market Economies (IMEC) (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States), stated that interest in new standards on extreme forms of child labour had not only been expressed by the ILO constituents but the impressive social mobilization of the Global March against Child Labour had indicated that the proposed new Convention was of great interest for the world community as a whole. She pointed out that the Global March against Child Labour was a signal for the ILO and all countries to join hands with all parties concerned in the fight against extreme forms of child labour. Concerning a new Convention, it should aim at universal ratification and implementation among ILO member States. The text should be short, clear and concise, and avoid inconsistencies with other international organizations and instruments dealing with child labour. Convention No. 138 continued to be the major ILO instrument on child labour. A new Convention would complement it and other relevant international instruments, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Prohibiting extreme forms of child labour was not sufficient, thus measures of rehabilitation and reintegration as well as preventive measures were required. At the national and regional level, Governments should work closely with employers, workers and other parties.

25. The Government member of Italy said that her Government was convinced of the necessity of eliminating child labour and adopting measures at the national and international level. She referred to the Charter Pledges for the promotion of children's rights and the rights of adolescents and for the elimination of child labour which had been drafted and signed by all Ministries concerned and by the social partners. Italy's commitment in favour of children could be seen in the action taken by the national tripartite Consultative Committee for the ILO and by the round-table for dialogue between the Government and the social partners. The Consultative Committee had launched cooperation projects on child labour, in collaboration with ILO and UNICEF. The round-table for dialogue and the national tripartite Committee were the bodies which dealt with the implementation of the programmes of the Charter Pledges. Italy had been supporting international action against child labour through IPEC. At country level, a survey of child labour in Italy would be carried out by the national statistics office in collaboration with the ILO. The proposed new Convention should set clear objectives and responsibilities of all parties concerned, include measures to monitor progress made at national and international level, define extreme or intolerable forms of child labour to include activities which involve the use of violence and sexual exploitation of children, and be in line with Convention No. 138. The proposed Convention should allow the phased implementation of policies and the redistribution of resources without losing sight of the final objective of eliminating all forms of child labour. The Convention should cover all children with special attention to younger children and to the situation of girls.

26. The Government member of Jamaica, speaking on behalf of the Government members of the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM), described different forms of child labour that existed in the region, the patterns of underdevelopment which had deprived children of education, dignity and health, and the commitment to abolish child labour among the countries of the region. The economic reality in the region affected the capacity of governments to meet social needs and demands, which resulted in widespread poverty and child labour. Boys experienced harsh reality on urban streets, while girls tended to be less visible in households.

27. The Government member of France said that France was committed to fight against child labour as part of the implementation of the ILO's core labour standards. A new Convention was important to meet the expectations of the international community to bring an end to child slavery, bonded child labour, sexual exploitation of children and other forms of child labour in hazardous work. It should be consistent with the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), have clear legal commitments, and be subject to the normal supervisory machinery. France would continue to support international action against child labour through the ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). It had recently demonstrated this support by substantially increasing its contribution to IPEC.

28. The Government member of Canada said that the messages given to the Conference by the Global March against Child Labour were very compelling. Canada supported the objectives of the proposed instruments; they would send a strong and clear message that exploitation of children was unacceptable worldwide. There needed to be a simple instrument, focused on extreme forms of child labour, which would be universally ratified and implemented. There must also be a clear understanding of what was meant by extreme forms of child labour.

29. The Government member of Egypt said that her Government supported the proposed new Convention on extreme forms of child labour as necessary to tackle the problem, a problem which was detrimental to development. The Convention should define clear aims and targets, be compatible with ILO Convention No. 138 and Recommendation No. 146, and other United Nations instruments. She reported on various activities in Egypt, including the establishment of a national programme of action against child labour to prevent and eliminate all extreme forms of child labour and the planned ratification of Convention No. 138.

30. The Government member of Bangladesh commented on the successful efforts of IPEC in the country, which had increased awareness of the problem. Concerning the proposed new Convention, more flexibility was needed to define hazardous work; it should take into account the social and economic conditions of each country; it must take into account the best interests of children and should treat children as victims not criminals. In Bangladesh the implementation of free and compulsory education in 1990 had helped to reduce child labour. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters' Association (BGMEA), UNICEF and the ILO in 1995 to phase out children from working in garment factories had been a very successful initiative. In 1997, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh had proposed the adoption of a Convention to combat trafficking in women and children under the auspices of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

31. The Government member of South Africa reported that the South African Parliament would discuss ratification of ILO Convention No. 138 during its 1998 session, which would bring to six the number of fundamental ILO Conventions ratified by South Africa. There were also recent changes in legislation to prohibit the employment of children under the age of 15. South Africa was about to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to join IPEC. South Africa supported a new international standard to deal with extreme forms of child labour, which should be strong, effective and complement existing ILO standards on child labour. There should not be the impression created that there were forms of tolerable or permissible child labour. A new instrument should lead to the development of time-bound programmes for the elimination of child labour. He hoped that the new Convention would also fall under the supervisory machinery of the ILO as soon as it was adopted in 1999.

32. The Government member of Denmark, speaking also on behalf of the Government members of Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, commented on the efforts of the ILO in the elimination of child labour, which had led to better understanding of the child labour problem and action to combat it. Those efforts must be continued. The Nordic countries believed that the social partners played an important role. Poverty alleviation was the central objective in the development assistance policy of Nordic countries and the multilateral efforts to combat child labour were carried out through the ILO and UNICEF. The Nordic countries had already joined or were about to join in IPEC. All Nordic countries welcomed the initiative of the ILO to prepare a new Convention on extreme forms of child labour. However, they were hesitant to leave it to national authorities to define hazardous work. There should be a common understanding of what constituted extreme forms of child labour in the Convention. Recognizing the important role of education in the elimination and prevention of child labour, the Nordic countries proposed that education should be mentioned in the Convention, at least in the Preamble, and in the Recommendation and called for an increasing focus on basic education in development cooperation programmes.

33. The Government member of Sudan pointed out several contributing factors to the prevalence of child labour, of which poverty was the most important. Experience had shown that prevention was better than cure in addressing the problem. In addition, international standards were important to guide countries in formulating appropriate policies and legislation. He emphasized that the work of children in African countries had to be seen in its proper context. There was work, mostly traditional in nature, which generally was beneficial to children and did not deprive them of education. Other types of work which required children to work late at night and in hazardous conditions were detrimental to the physical and psychological development of children and should be dealt with without delay. He noted that through various policies attacking the root causes of the problem, his Government was addressing the problem and was currently looking into the possibility of ratifying the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138).

34. The Government member of China underscored the importance of addressing extreme forms of child labour. She agreed that work at an early age had great physical and psychological bearing on the development of a child. Moreover, child labour was not conducive to the economic development of a country. Referring to the situation in China, she noted that her Government had always been concerned about child labour and had promulgated legislation and regulations to contain the problem. She added that her Government was currently completing the process to ratify Convention No. 138. She emphasized that poverty remained the basic reason why children had to work and called upon the ILO to provide support to countries facing the problem, which would allow them to strengthen their economies and improve their education systems. IPEC was a good starting point.

35. The Government member of Morocco noted that child labour preoccupied many countries because of the detrimental effect it had on the children involved and the burden it placed on economic development. He called for international solidarity in addressing the problem, which should go beyond standard setting. His country was particularly interested in protecting children, and had thus ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, engaged in a ratification procedure of Convention No. 138 and organized national seminars on key questions for children's future. His Government had also elaborated a plan of action which provided for a holistic approach to the problem, including education, family support and social protection. Morocco supported the proposed new instruments and hoped that they would provide for a systematic approach to the problem.

36. The Government member of Côte d'Ivoire emphasized the need to distinguish between harmful forms of child labour and those that were part of the social and cultural integration of a child into society. Guided by ILO Conventions, Côte d'Ivoire had been active in protecting working children as reflected in various laws and regulations prohibiting work that could be detrimental to children. He hoped that the new instruments, once adopted, would give even better guidance in developing such policies.

37. The Government member of New Zealand expressed deep concern about the exploitation of children and gave her full support to initiatives to eliminate extreme forms of child labour. The initiative of the ILO to develop new instruments to address such forms was welcomed. She hoped that these instruments would encourage countries to make meaningful progress in addressing the problem. To this end, the proposed instruments should emphasise outcomes, and be flexible and as non-prescriptive as possible about methods, providing a framework to accommodate the diversity in national policies and practices. The Government of New Zealand would support instruments that provided meaningful protection against the exploitation of children, were compatible with and added value to existing international instruments, and were acceptable to as many member States as possible.

38. The Government member of Mexico called for a realistic approach to the problem which took account of the situation of each country and which recognized that many countries were not able to immediately suppress child labour, even its most intolerable forms. Nevertheless, her Government was fully aware of the responsibilities that rested on countries facing the problem and she recalled the words spoken by the representative of the Global March to the effect that if a fraction of the resources invested in weapons -- amounting at a minimum to billions of dollars -- could be devoted to children, it would be used to their greatest benefit. She argued that the proposed instruments should have clear definitions if they were to have an influence and commented on the different phenomena covered by point 9, which would have to be treated differently. In addition, the instrument should be flexible enough to cover various situations in different countries.

39. The Government member of Japan pointed out that cooperation among various international organizations was necessary. Recognizing the need to deal with extreme forms of child labour first, he strongly supported the focused approach of the Proposed Conclusions. He emphasized the need for a clear definition, but also a flexible instrument, to be ratifiable by as many countries as possible.

40. The Government member of Turkey expressed his satisfaction with the proposed instruments, in particular since the legal framework in Turkey was in full accordance with their provisions. He noted that Turkey had recently ratified the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) and was in the process of ratifying the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138). He further stated that a great deal had been done in Turkey to address the problem of child labour in agriculture and small-scale industries where the problem was still prevalent. Compulsory education had just been extended from five to eight years and it was hoped that by the year 2000 it could be further expanded to 11 years. In this respect he noted the excellent cooperation Turkey had enjoyed with ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour. Efforts initiated under the project were now being institutionalized and local organizations were in the process of taking over the responsibility to continue the services provided. In particular, apprenticeships had become institutionalized and training institutes set up.

41. The Government member of Switzerland stated her Government's support for both a Convention and Recommendation on extreme forms of child labour, a stance that had become even firmer after its encounter with participants to the Global March. Referring to other instruments on the subject, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, she stressed the need to avoid overlapping efforts. As to the proposed instruments, the Government of Switzerland supported the age limit of 18 set in the Proposed Conclusions; the requirement for penal sanctions and other appropriate sanctions to be established; and the call for international cooperation and development assistance in addressing the problem.

42. The Government member of India stated that extreme and hazardous forms of child labour should be eliminated. The issue of child labour had to be handled with utmost sensitivity and deep understanding as children represented the most vulnerable part of any society. Child labour was the most serious violation of children's rights. Education was a central issue in the fight against child labour and the main causes of child labour were parental poverty, illiteracy, underemployment and unemployment. Another dimension of child labour was the tradition of passing skills from one generation to the next. Combinations of work, schooling and vocational training would have to be developed to take that dimension into account. She added that laws and international labour standards could not achieve the elimination of child labour by themselves. A multi-pronged approach was needed consisting of employment-generation, social mobilization, awareness-raising and education. The Government of India had a proactive policy on child labour, based on a national consensus and the combined commitment of the Government, workers' and employers' organizations. Budgetary provisions for education had recently been substantially increased. A national authority on child labour had been created and numerous schemes and projects were being implemented to progressively eliminate child labour. IPEC had significantly assisted in these efforts. Sustainability of measures was a key issue, particularly in view of the resource constraints faced by developing countries. She also reaffirmed the support of the Government of India for the adoption of a new Convention accompanied by a Recommendation. The new instruments had to be practical and flexible.

43. The Government member of Zambia noted that child labour was a global problem. Developing countries such as Zambia were particularly affected. Zambia had recently ratified Convention No. 138 and upheld the rights of the child as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. A number of cultural and socio-economic factors were at the basis of child labour in Zambia. The liberalization of the country's economy was accompanied by retrenchments, growing unemployment and the growth of the informal sector. HIV/AIDS aggravated the situation. Many children had to work to supplement family income. Most had found working a norm and education a myth. Policies promoting Education for All and the creation of a social safety net had been put in place but had only had limited impact due to budgetary constraints. Sufficient funding for social services would have to be provided if child labour was to be eliminated.

44. The Government member of Cyprus declared that Cyprus was in favour of a new Convention supplemented by a Recommendation. The new standards should be clear and unambiguous. They should aim at the immediate elimination of all extreme forms of child labour and provide for effective mechanisms for implementation and supervision both at the national and international levels. The Recommendation should contain guidelines for meeting the objectives of the Convention. He recalled that Convention No. 138 had recently been ratified by Cyprus and the Government, together with employers' and workers' organizations, had taken all necessary measures to facilitate its implementation. Preventive measures and action were also being taken for the effective elimination of all extreme forms of child labour.

45. The Government member of Peru stated that child labour was a consequence of poverty and was linked to the socio-economic situation. Eradicating poverty was a romantic ideal in view of the debt problem and the unequal relations between rich and poor countries. A new Convention and Recommendation had to concentrate on extreme forms of child labour and have the protection of the working child as their main objective. They should also take into account existing instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Many child labour categories included in the Proposed Conclusions, such as slavery and child prostitution, were not forms of work but crimes. The new standards should focus on hazardous work.

46. The Government member of Guinea agreed with the goal of eliminating all extreme forms of child labour and supported the development of a new Convention and Recommendation. The international community had to take into account, however, that the educational infrastructure was often poor in developing countries. Parents who had not gone to school tended to put more value on the work of their children than on their education. A number of measures were therefore needed to supplement the new standards. This concerned in particular the setting up and improvement of educational facilities for children.

47. The Government member of the Philippines supported a new Convention which should be aimed at the progressive elimination of extreme forms of child labour. She explained that while the Philippines had just ratified Convention No. 138, a constitutional and legislative framework protecting children had been put in place much earlier, which included setting up a family and children's court. A national child labour committee had also been created and free elementary, secondary and vocational education, as well as basic health services, had been provided. Yet poverty was a persisting problem, preventing many children from attending school and thus millions of children were working. A comprehensive time-bound programme of action against extreme forms of child labour was being implemented by the Philippine Government. IPEC had also successfully carried out projects. She added that more had to be done to win the battle against extreme forms of child labour. International action and cooperation were urgently needed, in particular to break the vicious circle of poverty, of which extreme forms of child labour were part.

48. The Government member of Jordan said that his Government was determined to protect children, by looking at all dimensions of the problems and taking action to remedy them in collaboration with non-governmental organizations. Jordan had already ratified Convention No. 138. Concerning the proposed new Convention, Jordan wished to see a clear, well balanced and flexible instrument.

49. The Government member of Zimbabwe said that her Government supported the proposed new Convention to end extreme forms of child labour. In preparation for the ratification of Convention No. 138, Zimbabwe had adopted regulations which defined light work and hazardous work. As many forms of work were invisible and inaccessible by inspectors, legislation alone was not sufficient to combat the problem. A clear and concrete programme of action must be in place. The Child Welfare Forum (CWF), a consortium of private and public organizations who advocate, monitor and respond to all children's issues, had been set up. CWF participated in the Global March against Child Labour. The Government of Zimbabwe and CWF were preparing to carry out a survey on child labour with the support of the ILO.

50. The Government member of Hungary said that it was important to have an instrument which could become a strong yardstick by which the international community could measure compliance in combating child labour. New instruments would be tools for international action and should set minimum requirements to support action in countries that commit themselves to combating child labour.

51. The Government member of Ethiopia said that apart from poverty, which was the main cause of child labour, other causal factors included HIV/AIDS, natural calamities and conflicts. Therefore, interventions designed for alleviation of the child labour problem should give due attention to these factors. He mentioned that the problem of child labour was different from country to country, thus a new Convention should be flexible to incorporate the specific situations of all member States. All were responsible for taking measures to abolish child labour, focusing on the immediate prohibition and elimination of its extreme forms. He informed the Committee that the Ethiopian Government had submitted Convention No. 138 to the legislative body of the country for ratification, which would add to three ILO core Conventions that the Ethiopian Government had already ratified.

52. The Government member of the Republic of Korea considered that the proposed new standards on extreme forms of child labour elaborated the principles which were embodied in the Preamble of the ILO Constitution and Convention No. 138. He referred to Korean law on the minimum age for admission to employment which banned children under the age of 18 in undertakings which could jeopardize their morals or health. The Government of the Republic of Korea supported the adoption of a Convention supplemented by a Recommendation, provided that national legislation, practices and situations of all member States were taken into account.

53. The Government member of Sri Lanka said that the proposed new Convention on extreme forms of child labour was fully supported by the Sri Lankan Government. He reported that Sri Lanka had a high literacy rate of 92 per cent, education was free and compulsory up to the age of 15, and the minimum age for admission to employment was 14. Though child labour was not a problem in the formal sector, the practice existed in the informal sector, such as in domestic work. With the support of IPEC Sri Lanka was in the process of conducting a survey to collect data on child labour and awareness-raising activities. In 1996, a Presidential task force on child protection had been set up. Following its recommendation, a child protection authority had been established recently.

54. The Government member of the Democratic Republic of the Congo said that her Government was committed to fighting child labour and the immediate eradication of its extreme forms, which were considered crimes against humanity. The Democratic Republic of the Congo supported the proposed new Convention and Recommendation, which should be realistic and take into account different cultures and circumstances.

55. The Government member of Guatemala supported the proposed new Convention on extreme forms of child labour and practical measures to be adopted. The new Convention must reinforce existing Convention No. 138. While she acknowledged that poverty was not the only cause of child labour, it was the most important cause. Education played an important role in the fight against poverty; it should therefore find its place in the new Convention. She recognized the role and needed support from the international community in action against child labour.

56. The Government member of the United States emphasized the gravity of the problem of child labour and its impact on the future of the world. He referred to the Global March against Child Labour and that the ILO had gained much more from the March than it could ever give back to the children in action on their behalf. The United States Government had supported the March, and the President, in doing so, had expressed the need to eliminate extreme forms of child labour. The Secretary of Labor had allocated increased funding to fight child labour in the United States, where poverty also still caused child labour, and the President had sought in his budget initiative to Congress a ten-fold increase in the contribution of the United States to IPEC. IPEC had demonstrated that seemingly impossible action against child labour, was in fact possible. He quoted a former Government official who had at one time directed the child labour bureau; "if we treat the disease of poverty with the pathology of child labour, we will have both forever". The challenge was to break the cycle of child labour and poverty, which must be broken as quickly as possible for extreme forms of child labour. He concluded by saying that the United States fully and unreservedly supported a new Convention targeting extreme forms of child labour, which should be a document ratified by all member States of the ILO. The Committee should act effectively on behalf of the children who had suffered yesterday, but who should not suffer tomorrow.

57. The Government member of the Russian Federation praised the initiative of the ILO against extreme forms of child labour. With existing international instruments on child labour, the new Convention and Recommendation should provide the basis for a vigorous campaign against extreme forms of child labour. Rather than becoming more rare, extreme forms had emerged in countries and regions where the problem had not existed. She highlighted the need in the proposed instruments for clear definitions of the types of child labour to be eliminated without delay, as well as that of a practical mechanism that would ensure compliance and implementation. Turning to action in her country, the Russian Federation had ratified Convention No. 138 and legislation was being drafted on child pornography.

58. The Government member of Nigeria, speaking on behalf of the African Government members of the Committee pointed to the need to situate the issue of child labour in the social and economic context of the African continent. Children helping the family in domestic situations and activities were not the problem. Immediate action should be taken, however, to eradicate child labour which deprived children of an education or threatened their safety, health or morals. He recalled declarations from meetings that had been held in Africa on child labour and the provisions of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which protected children from child labour. The Government members of Africa also recalled their adherence to other relevant United Nations Conventions and reiterated their support for new ILO instruments on intolerable or extreme forms of child labour.

59. The representative of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) referred to the problem of child labour, in particular the serious problem in Africa where 80 million children worked. What was more troubling was the existence of extreme forms of child labour in domestic work, agriculture, mining, factories, construction, in the informal sector and children forcefully drawn into armed conflict. He reported that although other parts of the world had a more serious problem than Africa, he emphasized that Africa was not free from child labour and required prevention and action against extreme forms in Africa to avoid a worsening situation. The OAU fully endorsed new standards to immediately suppress the most intolerable forms of child labour which had been prepared in consultation with ILO member States. The OAU had held meetings in Arusha (April 1997), Kampala (February 1998) and Pretoria (April 1998), and through that consultative process had determined that priority should be given to extreme forms of child labour within the long term objective of the total suppression of child labour. Finally, the ILO was called upon to continue and expand its technical cooperation in Africa.

60. The Government member of Indonesia noted the complexity of the child labour problem which was rooted in the cultural, social, and economic structures and traditions of countries. He stated that the policy aim of his Government was the gradual elimination of child labour with a focus on prevention to discourage children from entering the labour market by providing them with access to basic education. He noted that child labour was one of the most important child rights issues. However, a distinction should be made between children working to help the family with household chores and other part-time work, for example, and child labour that was harmful to children. Indonesia had benefited from IPEC assistance and had initiated programmes to eliminate child labour. He commended the efforts of the international community to create new instruments on child labour.

61. The Government member of the Central African Republic underlined that fighting child labour was and must remain a major concern. Tripartite consultations had been held in the Central African Republic to establish ways to address the problem of child labour and a tripartite committee on child labour, including non-governmental organizations, had been created. He supported the creation of new instruments, which should be widely ratified, to bolster initiatives undertaken at the local level.

62. The Government member of Colombia noted the many efforts of his Government to eradicate child labour, such as introducing legislative changes that included training programmes. He stressed the importance of education and vocational training. In Colombia, it was very difficult to fight against child labour considering the violence within the country which had left children aged 15 to 17 years acting as the heads of the families. An agreement was needed to reinforce national and international legislation. The fight against child labour was not only a national fight, but an international one, which should attack the root causes of child labour, such as poverty.

63. The Government member of Rwanda endorsed action against child labour. In Rwanda, as a result of the genocide, children were obliged to work to feed themselves and their siblings. In response, the Government of Rwanda had established a fund for the victims of genocide, which should in particular allow children to attend school. A project in support of street children had permitted some of them to acquire a trade which would facilitate their social reintegration. With the support of IPEC, Rwanda had participated in a subregional seminar and had trained members of the Ministry of Labour to raise awareness about intolerable forms of child labour and the hazards of child labour. Rwanda was prepared to support and ratify a Convention, to be supplemented by a Recommendation. A seminar aimed at increasing awareness had also been organized for all the local partners.

64. The Government member of Ireland pointed to poverty as a cause and consequence of child labour. Parents were the victims of poverty and could not be expected to be the main agents of change in combating child labour. Recalling the remarks made by the Irish Minister of Labour to the Global March against Child Labour, he stated that governments held the primary responsibility of taking the lead in setting, implementing and enforcing standards. The Committee's work gave governments, together with employers' and workers' organizations, an opportunity to do that.

65. The Employer Vice-Chairperson made brief concluding comments in light of the Committee's discussion. The Employer members were pleased with what they had heard. Governments had taken positive action against child labour, including action against its extreme forms. The Employer members intended to propose only a few amendments and looked forward to a constructive and serious discussion.

66. The Worker Vice-Chairperson welcomed the level of commitment expressed by the Government members. He believed that no one who had spoken could be accused of failing to understand the full implications of the Committee's task. Even though child labour was rooted in poverty he reiterated that everyone should come to grips with the fact that child labour was wrong. In this connection he considered it extremely important for the credibility of the ILO to respond to the global call for immediate action against child labour, in particular its extreme forms. Referring to statements that had been made earlier he urged members of the Committee not to think in terms of gradual elimination which implied slowing down, but rather progressive elimination of child labour, based on a time-bound programme arrived at through tripartite consultation. As to the issue of education and child labour he recalled the aim of the Convention which was to eradicate immediately the worst and most hazardous forms of child labour. The long-term goal of eradicating child labour remained important and would hopefully be achieved through carefully worked out programmes arrived at by national tripartite consultation. Finally he called on all States to ratify the new instruments, cooperate in their implementation and to reallocate funding from armaments to education and poverty alleviation.

67. The representative of UNICEF expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to take part in the first discussion on the proposed new ILO instruments on extreme forms of child labour. UNICEF wholeheartedly supported this initiative as an important milestone in the worldwide campaign against child labour. Children had the same full spectrum of rights as adults, which were firmly established in international law and accepted by the 191 countries that had ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The international conferences held last year at Amsterdam and Oslo had clearly underscored that the world community accorded high priority to the elimination of child labour and that there was a growing consensus on the nature and causes of the problem, the priorities and the means of action. The Convention on the Rights of the Child had played an important role in shaping this consensus. It was clear that the international campaign against child labour needed more focus and that priority attention had to be given to the most vulnerable, particularly the very young and girls. While education was perhaps not a quick solution, it was the single most cost-effective measure to eliminate child labour because it responded to the strategic need to make prevention the focus of action. UNICEF recognized, however, that children trapped in extreme forms of child labour could not wait for poverty alleviation or universal basic education. UNICEF agreed that any action against extreme forms of child labour should be part of a coherent and comprehensive programme to ensure the effective abolition of child labour as called for in Convention No. 138. Adoption of complementary new instruments would provide a good opportunity to fashion a holistic approach to the protection of children's rights. He assured the unequivocal commitment of UNICEF in helping to define and support the implementation of national action plans that must be realized upon ratification. He recalled that governments alone could not meet the challenge, thus various concerned groups within civil society needed to be part of the process, in particular the children themselves who had a right to be consulted in matters that affected them.

68. The representative speaking on behalf of European-based NGOs, stated that although there was a diversity of views among the NGOs she represented, they generally welcomed the initiative to develop instruments on extreme forms of child labour. She urged that the best interests of the child, as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, be taken as the guiding principle in developing the new instruments. Because child labour was mostly found in the unorganized and informal sectors, she suggested that NGOs and other civil society organizations, including women's and children's organizations, be consulted in determining the types of work to be considered as extreme forms of child labour, since they had knowledge about the actual situation in these sectors of the economy. She called for special attention to the situation of child domestic workers who were mostly girls, and child soldiers. A significant number of the NGOs she represented in her remarks believed that any work that deprived children of basic education should be categorized as an extreme form of child labour. Other NGOs maintained, however, that this would obstruct immediate action. Referring to the national programmes of action called for in the proposed instruments, she underlined the importance of sustainable economic alternatives for working children and their families.

69. The representative speaking on behalf of NGOs from the Americas, expressed the opinion that eradicating hazardous child labour was such an intractable, difficult problem that it required the full mobilization of all social forces. Joining the previous speaker, he pointed out that since the problem was mainly confined to the informal sector the Convention should explicitly designate a role for NGOs in defining and monitoring national action plans, as well as in providing information to the ILO regarding problems of compliance. He urged that work which denied children access to education should be included in the definition of extreme forms. Emphasis also needed to be placed on the girl child. He welcomed reference to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and called for full collaboration with agencies responsible for its implementation. He added that the new Convention should not weaken the centrality of Convention No. 138 which defined the appropriate ages for admission to work. Finally, he noted that national and international action plans on the subject should be fully cognizant of the problems created by structural adjustment programmes imposed by international financial institutions.

70. The representative speaking on behalf of African NGOs, pointed out the need to recognize the right of children to engage in work to earn a livelihood which did not jeopardize their health and well-being. He urged that child soldiers be included among extreme forms of child labour in the new Convention; this problem was widespread in war-torn areas of Africa. He argued that it was important to emphasize access to and provision of quality education and training in the new instruments to equip children with appropriate skills. He noted with concern the great speed with which the ratification of some Conventions came, and stressed that there needed to be an accompanying commitment to ensure their implementation. He also recalled the need to involve children in the consultation process and urged the tripartite members of the ILO to strengthen their collaboration with NGOs at the country level.

71. The representative of the NGOs in the Asian region, reiterated support for a new Convention and Recommendation and that the proposed Convention should complement both the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Convention No. 138. In addition, the Convention should be included among the core labour standards of the ILO. He drew particular attention to the problems of children working as domestic servants, who often remained invisible. Within the definition of extreme forms of child labour, he suggested the inclusion of work which denied children access and opportunity to education, the focus being on the nature of the work not on the provision of education. Work that excluded the possibility for children to return home each day should also be included. Reflecting on the national programmes of action called for in the proposed instruments, he thought that they should focus on enforcement and provide precise plans to rehabilitate children removed from work. He also suggested that national commissions on child labour be established. These should have statutory powers to ensure the removal of children from extreme labour conditions.

Consideration of the Proposed Conclusions
contained in Report VI(2)

A. Form of the instruments

Point 1

72. The Worker members submitted an amendment to replace the word "extreme" by "the worst", so that point 1 would refer to "the worst forms of child labour". The term used should not be limiting nor convey an inaccurate idea of what the instruments included. The words "extreme" or "intolerable" had certain connotations that made those terms inappropriate. Noting that some forms of child labour were worse than others, he emphasized that "the worst" forms of child labour was understandable to the general public who supported the work of the Committee. Countries would be able to have a portfolio available of which forms were worse than others and thus could consider the national context, giving special consideration to the well-being of children.

73. The Employer members opposed the amendment, and thought there was general agreement that "extreme" was a good word in this situation. The Employer Vice-Chairperson reiterated that selecting appropriate terminology was especially important. He recalled previous debates on the use of the words "extreme" and "intolerable", and believed that "intolerable" was inappropriate. He indicated that the term "worst" was too vague and questioned what effect it would have on point 9 of the instruments and sought clarification from the secretariat. A representative of the Secretary-General pointed out that "extreme" was chosen instead of "most intolerable" to avoid the judgment of most or least, and to cover all work of an extreme nature. The specific meaning in point 9 was to be determined by what followed in clauses (a), (b), and (c), which would be the minimum to be considered as "extreme" or "the worst" forms of child labour, whichever term was chosen. The Employer Vice-Chairperson felt that to avoid engaging in a judgment, the word "extreme" should be retained.

74. The Government member of Zimbabwe also opposed the amendment. The Government member of India said that it was a question of semantics and that the content of point 9 would define the word chosen. India could nonetheless accept "the worst" if the Worker members insisted. The Government members of Spain and Turkey, however, argued that the use of "extreme" was not clear, as it could refer to either the good or bad end of the spectrum. The Government member of Spain preferred "the worst", but noted that this was a subjective term, while the Government member of Turkey proposed using "extremely intolerable".

75. After some discussion, the Employer Vice-Chairperson stated that if the choice between "extreme" and "the worst" had no effect on the content or meaning of the instruments, the Employer members would support "the worst" forms of child labour. The amendment was adopted. The Employer members and the Government member of France raised a concern about the French and Spanish translations and were assured that the concordance of the three languages would be done in the Committee's Drafting Committee. The Chairman indicated that with the adoption of this amendment, the word "extreme" would be replaced by "the worst", as appropriate, throughout the text.

76. Point 1 as amended was adopted.

Point 2

77. Point 2 was adopted without change.

B. Proposed Conclusions with a view to a
Convention and a Recommendation

Preamble

Point 3

78. The Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States submitted an amendment to replace Points 3 and 4 by the following text: "The Preamble should note that the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment Convention and Recommendation, 1973, remain fundamental ILO instruments for the abolition of child labour and that new instruments should be adopted for the immediate elimination of the worst(2)  forms of child labour as the priority for national and international action". The Government member of the Netherlands explained that the purpose of the two Points could be combined and that the amendment replaced the word "suppression" with "elimination" since it was more in line with ILO language on this subject.

79. The Employer members supported the amendment, suggesting however a slight revision in the order of the words and the insertion of the word "prohibition". The proposed subamendment read as follows: "The preamble should note that new instruments should be adopted for the immediate prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour as the priority for national and international action and that the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment Convention and Recommendation, 1973 remain fundamental ILO instruments for the abolition of child labour".

80. The Worker members largely agreed with this proposal, but proposed to subamend the subamendment of the Employer members by inserting the word "immediate" before the word "elimination" instead of before the word "prohibition" to show clearly that the Convention called for an immediate stop to the worst forms of child labour in practice and not just by law. In addition, they proposed inserting the word "main" before the word "priority" and changing the part of the sentence after the words "national and international action" to refer to the new instruments as complementing the Minimum Age Convention and Recommendation, 1973, which remained the fundamental ILO instruments for the abolition of child labour, to underscore that the new instruments would not replace Convention No. 138.

81. The Employer members asked for clarification on whether the insertion of the word "complement" implied that ratifying the new instruments automatically had implications on the ratification status of Convention No. 138. A representative of the Secretary-General assured the Committee that the proposed language in the Preamble would in no way affect ratification of Convention No. 138; it was a separate process and, thus, there was no affect on a country vis--vis Convention No. 138. Following this clarification, the Employer members supported the subamendment of the Worker members, as did the Government member of Italy. The text of the proposed subamendment read as follows:

82. The Government member of India opposed the subamendment and the inclusion of "immediate" to modify "elimination". He argued that while developing countries might be able to prohibit the practice immediately, they would not be able to eliminate child labour -- even its worst forms -- overnight, since it required progressive action. After some discussion during which the Government member of Colombia reiterated that the Latin American countries would also have a problem with the immediate elimination of child labour, the Government member of India introduced a sub-subamendment to reinsert the word "immediate" before "prohibition", and to add the word "progressive" to modify "elimination". Thus the Preamble would provide that the new instruments would be adopted for the "immediate prohibition and progressive elimination" of the worst forms of child labour. The Government members of Bolivia, Egypt, Guinea, Sri Lanka, and Sudan supported the sub-subamendment because they believed that the problem could not be eliminated from one day to the next. The Government member of Guinea insisted that economic and cultural factors needed to be considered as well as the problem of governments as it was governments that had to ratify and implement Conventions.

83. The Employer members opposed the sub-subamendment. While they recognized the problems raised by some Government members, real targets were needed. The Worker members also opposed the sub-subamendment. In response to those members who had a problem with "immediate", the Worker Vice-Chairperson explained that as a matter of principle the Worker members would remain opposed to any inclusion of progressive elimination. It was clear that the term "immediate" did not mean overnight but rather as soon as possible; "progressive" could result in no action. He argued that Government members should not fear the notion of "immediate" and, in fact, complimented the Government of India for action being taken against child labour. Furthermore, the Worker members intended to submit amendments to the body of the proposed Convention, providing for tripartite mechanisms for discussing implementation and developing concrete programmes of action that would facilitate a national consensus on how immediate the elimination of the worst forms of child labour would be. It should also be clear that the subject of the new instruments was not all child labour; they were aimed at the worst forms, such as children sent into prostitution, used in pornography, given over to the custody of others to work and kidnapped and sent into armies. These practices should be ended immediately, meaning as soon as possible, and in consultation with others concerned.

84. The Government member of Hungary opposed the sub-subamendment by India and preferred the original amendment. He argued that there was no contradiction between immediate elimination of child labour as a priority and the notion of progressive elimination as a process. Second, the meaning of priority was that it would be the main thing to do, thus adding the word "main" before "priority" would not make the text stronger. Third, "prohibition" weakened the Convention because the "immediate elimination" was the focus for action and many countries had already taken action to prohibit such child labour. The Government member of Chile also opposed the sub-subamendment and supported the original amendment, stating that prohibition was already part of other ILO instruments and should not be repeated. The Government members of Argentina and Uruguay agreed.

85. The Chairperson clarified the arguments that it was not necessary to use the word "immediate" in connection with "prohibition", but that the wording "progressive elimination", as proposed in the sub-subamendment, would not do justice to the general consensus in the Committee on the need for urgent action to eliminate the worst forms of child labour.

86. The Government member of India withdrew the sub-subamendment, but proposed a new sub-subamendment to insert "action for the" before "elimination". Thus the subamendment would read: "The Preamble should note that new instruments should be adopted for the prohibition and immediate action for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour ..."

87. The Employer members supported the proposed sub-subamendment by India, as did the Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States. The Government member of Uruguay also added her support to a compromise solution, while the Government member of Italy opposed it.

88. The Worker members opposed it. The Worker Vice-Chairperson said that the principle of immediate action was fundamental, thus Worker members could not compromise. The strong statement of principle needed to be in the Preamble. The Worker members failed to understand the hesitation on the part of some Governments to accept that the elimination of the worst forms of child labour would have to be immediate. Immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour would still leave sufficient room for ratifying countries to move at different paces, respecting different levels of development. He argued that the Preamble did not stand alone and that the provisions in the body of the Convention would speak to the way in which the provisions of the Convention would be given effect. Amendments that the Worker members planned to submit would demonstrate their intent to contribute to a realistic process of implementation involving tripartite mechanisms. Calling for "action for elimination" could result in a process where action plans were developed without any real follow-up in terms of implementation. Experience had shown that plans of action could go over a period of ten years without any tangible results.

89. The Government member of Sudan was concerned about the different interpretations being given to the word "immediate" such as "without delay", "as soon as possible", and suggested it be replaced by a different word.

90. The issue was resolved when the Committee agreed to a proposal by the Worker members in a spirit of compromise to further amend the sub-subamendment to insert "and comprehensive" action. The subamendment was adopted as subamended to read as follows:

The amendment as subamended, was adopted.

91. Point 3 was adopted as amended.

Point 4

92. The Worker members submitted an amendment to replace point 4 with the following text:

However, in light of the adoption of point 3, as amended, the Worker members subamended the amendment to read:

The Preamble should state that the effective elimination of the worst forms of child labour requires comprehensive action, taking into account the importance of basic education and the need for the removal from work, and the rehabilitation of the children concerned.

93. The Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the Government members of the Member States of the European Union and Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Hungary, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States, proposed a subamendment to insert "and reintegration" after the word "rehabilitation". The Government member of Switzerland explained that it was to be consistent with Article 39 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which referred to "appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim ...". The Worker and Employer members, and the Government members of Cyprus, Guatemala, the United Kingdom and India supported the subamendment. The Government member of Italy supported the subamendment, but proposed that it refer to "social" "reintegration", which was agreed by the Worker members and accepted by the Committee.

94. The discussion on the amendment continued about whether the appropriate reference was to "basic", or "primary" education. The Worker members preferred the term "basic education" as it was commonly used by the United Nations and it could include not only primary education, but also up to three years of secondary education. The Government member of Pakistan supported the use of the term "basic", but pointed out that the Convention on the Rights of the Child used the term "primary". The reference to "basic" was not changed and the amendment as subamended was adopted.

95. The Government members of Zambia and Zimbabwe submitted an amendment to include the term "time bound", stressing the importance of having a specific time frame for action for the protection of children. If "immediate" meant as soon as possible as some had suggested, action could be taken years later. In view of a suggestion from the Worker Vice-Chairperson to take up the issue within the provisions of the Convention, the amendment was withdrawn.

96. Point 4 was adopted as amended.

Point 5

97. The Worker members submitted an amendment to add at the end of Point 5, references to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and its Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; relevant ILO standards which were subject to biennial reporting under article 22 of the ILO Constitution; the Conclusions of the World Summit for Social Development that had been held in Copenhagen in 1995; and the Fourth World Conference on Women that had been held in Beijing in 1995. The Worker Vice-Chairperson explained that this amendment would draw attention to as many relevant instruments as possible that would be widely recognized and strengthen the implementation of the instruments under consideration.

98. The Employer members opposed the amendment pointing out that there were many instruments to which reference could be made and that the line had to be drawn somewhere. Reference to too many other instruments would dilute the importance of the reference to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, already stated in point 5. The task of the Committee was to produce a succinct and easy to understand Convention which would be accessible to the wider public, a position supported by the Government member of Sudan, who had no problem with references to ILO instruments but stated that these references went beyond those directly relevant to child labour. The Government member of Norway suggested the appropriate place for the amendment would be under point 6, while the Government member of Guinea opposed the amendment since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was a summary of all texts concerning children. The Government member of South Africa supported only the reference to the Conclusions of the World Summit for Social Development, which explicitly made reference to the obligation of governments to ensure adequate access to education, health care and nutrition for children. The Government member of India supported the amendment in principle, but appreciated the concern of the Employer members to keep the Convention concise. The Government member of Hungary also favoured a succinct Convention, and asked whether including references to non-legally binding documents in ILO instruments was customary. The representative of the Secretary-General stated that there was nothing to prevent it.

99. The Worker members suggested a compromise to retain only the references to the World Summit for Social Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women. The Employer members agreed. The amendment as subamended was adopted.

100. Point 5 was adopted as amended.

Point 6

101. Point 6 was adopted. As a consequence of the adoption of point 1 as amended, "certain extreme forms" was replaced by "some of the worst forms".

New point after point 6

102. The Government members of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden submitted an amendment to add a new point after point 6 as follows:

Introducing the amendment, the Government member of Sweden pointed out that these instruments pertained to issues such as labour inspection, vocational training and career guidance, and equal access to education and training for girls and boys, which were all extremely important for the implementation of the instruments under consideration. The Worker members and the Government members of Croatia, Cyprus, Côte d' Ivoire, Italy and Sudan supported the amendment.

103. The Employer members, reiterating their position that the Preamble should be kept as concise as possible, opposed the amendment, as did the Government member of Hungary who said such additions were moving away from the original purpose of a new Convention and did not improve it. Following an indicative show of hands, the amendment was adopted.

104. A new point after point 6 was adopted.

New point after point 6

105. The Government members of Egypt, India and Malaysia submitted an amendment to add a new point after point 6 as follows:

The Government member of India stated that the amendment described reality and explained that it was necessary to establish the context of the problem and emphasize poverty alleviation as its solution.

106. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said that although poverty was a fact in many countries, children should not be exposed to the worst forms of child labour. He also wondered what was meant by universal education -- education for all?

107. The Worker members opposed the amendment. Poverty was not the only cause of the worst forms of child labour and it should not be used as an excuse for not dealing with the problem. The Government member of Pakistan supported the amendment and said that simply stating that poverty was a factor was not using it as a justification.

108. In view of insufficient support, the Government member of India withdrew the amendment.

New point after point 6

109. The Worker members submitted an amendment to add a new point after point 6 so that the Preamble would have regard for the need for cooperation between the ILO, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and other international institutions. The Worker Vice-Chairperson explained that the ILO should bring the social dimension of economic development to bear on discussion with the World Bank and the IMF to influence their policies and programmes. The purpose of cooperation should be to promote poverty alleviation, full employment and basic education for all, and, in particular, to influence the work of the IMF and World Bank for the benefit of children. Too often, their interventions had been destructive to the countries concerned.

110. The Employer Vice-Chairperson noted that the wording of the amendment was neutral, but did not want any implication that there would be support for those organizations to place conditions on their assistance to countries. Several Government members, including those of Croatia, Cuba, Hungary, India and Pakistan, opposed the amendment, some saying that it could bring into the discussion the social dimensions of globalization and issues being discussed in another Committee at this session of the International Labour Conference on a possible Declaration of principles of the ILO concerning fundamental rights. There was a possible implication that financial assistance from these institutions should be conditional. Finally, it was obvious that there should be cooperation among these institutions.

111. The Government member of Sudan opposed the amendment because there were relevant international institutions other than financial ones. The Employer members agreed and proposed a subamendment so that the Preamble would have regard to the need for cooperation between the ILO and other relevant international institutions. It was initially agreed by the Worker members and the Government member of the United Kingdom, who also thought that the cooperation should be according to the comparative advantage of each institution.

112. The Government member of Hungary believed the subamendment was too vague -- cooperation among relevant international institutions was already called for in the ILO Constitution -- and, as the discussion evolved, was convinced, as was the Government member of Croatia, that the Preamble to the new instrument on the worst forms of child labour was not the place to state that international financial institutions should pay sufficient attention to social needs. The Government member of Italy, while endorsing the views expressed by the Worker members, suggested that the original amendment better stated their intent.

113. To make it less vague, the Worker members proposed to add that the cooperation would be for ensuring that programmes were consistent with the intent of the new Convention, but the Government member of Sweden argued that this language was more suitable for a resolution than a Convention. The Government member of Guinea thought the original amendment related to the objective of the Convention and that the Worker members were suggesting that the institutions should help countries implement measures to eradicate child labour. The Worker members withdrew the amendment and said they would come back to their concerns in the discussion on the Convention.

New point after point 6

114. The Government members of Austria, Germany and Luxembourg submitted an amendment to refer in the Preamble to the Agenda for Action developed at the International Conference on Child Labour held in Oslo, Norway, in October 1997. The Government member of Germany explained that the Agenda for Action had special significance for the preparation of the new ILO instruments. However, the amendment was withdrawn in the light of comments from the Employer and Worker members and the Government member of the Netherlands that there were other relevant conferences that could also be listed.

Point 7

115. The Government members of Zambia and Zimbabwe submitted an amendment so that the term "child" would apply to all persons "as defined by national legislation taking account of cultural factors". The Government member of Venezuela did not question the minimum age of 18 if one referred to the worst forms of child labour.

116. The Worker members opposed the amendment and strongly urged that the minimum age for hazardous work that had been established by Convention No. 138 be observed. He reiterated that Convention No. 138 applied to all child labour and its provisions were not to be compromised by the new Convention. He emphasized that although other minimum ages were set forth in Convention No. 138, the Committee was discussing the worst forms of child labour and therefore the age of 18 applied. The Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, agreed with the Worker members and strongly opposed any changes in the original text of point 7. The Government member of Uruguay, also speaking on behalf of the Government members of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, also opposed the amendment. The age should be 18 with no exceptions and be in line with the general age of 18 in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the age for hazardous work in Convention No. 138.

117. While arguing for the need for flexibility and the need to recognize that different countries had different minimum ages for admission to employment in different sectors, the Government member of Zimbabwe nonetheless withdrew the amendment in view of lack of support.

118. The Government members of Egypt, India and Malaysia submitted a similar amendment so the term "child" would apply to all persons "as defined in national legislation of the parties ratifying the Convention." The Government member of India emphasized that the goal of total ratification would be impeded by setting too high an age that was an unrealistic goal. He was also concerned about the high unemployment that could result for those in the higher age group. The Convention must also be flexible because laws on prostitution were sometimes linked to the age of consent. The same opposition from Government members was expressed as to the previous amendment, including the Government member of Croatia, with emphasis again placed on the fact that the new instruments applied to the worst forms of child labour. In view of this opposition, the Government member of India withdrew the amendment.

119. The Government member of Australia submitted an amendment to replace the definition of a "child" for the purposes of the Convention as all persons under the age of 18, with the definition "every human being below the age of 18 years unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier". This was to provide the same flexibility in the definition of "child" as provided in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. He also referred to Article 34 of that Convention and the possible exception to age 18 under Article 3(3) of Convention No. 138. The Government member of Sudan noted that providing education to children was a problem for developing countries, thus the instruments should be flexible. The Government member of Uruguay argued against the amendment and pointed out that the reference to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was inappropriate as that Convention covered many more issues affecting age, while the proposed instruments only covered the worst aspects of child labour. Given the opposition to the amendment, the amendment was withdrawn.

120. Point 7 was adopted without change.

C. Proposed Conclusions with a view
to a Convention

Content of the Proposed Convention

Point 8

121. The Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States submitted an amendment to add "prohibition and" after the words "secure the", and to replace the word "suppression" with the word "elimination", so that point 8 would read as follows: "A Member which ratifies the Convention should take measures to secure the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour." The Government member of the Netherlands introduced the amendment, explaining the importance of the term "prohibition and immediate elimination" for the entire Convention and its consistency with earlier amendments. The Employer and Worker members supported the amendment.

122. The Government member of Colombia was concerned that it could be difficult for many developing countries to have the necessary machinery in place for the immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour. While their objective was the elimination of such child labour, they needed the cooperation and support of other countries. Further, the meaning of the worst forms of child labour needed to be clarified before this provision was decided upon, which would not be done until Point 9 was considered. The Government members of India and Pakistan would have preferred referring to the immediate and comprehensive action for elimination of the worst forms of child labour, but the amendment was adopted without change.

123. The Government members of Egypt and India withdrew an amendment to provide "action for the" elimination of the worst forms of child labour.

124. The Government members of Zambia and Zimbabwe withdrew an amendment to refer to immediate "time bound" elimination of the worst forms of child labour, stating that they would propose the idea later in the text.

125. The Worker members submitted an amendment to provide at the end of the point that the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour would be done "as the main priority in comprehensive national programmes to eliminate all child labour", and subamended it to refer to "time-bound" programmes, which addressed the concern of the Government members of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The addition would reflect the need for the eventual elimination of all child labour and that the goal would have to be reached within a clearly set time frame. The Employer members opposed the amendment, underlining the need for a focused Convention on the worst forms of child labour and for avoiding similar obstacles to ratification faced by Convention No. 138. In addition, reference had already been made to Convention No. 138 in the Preamble, which applied to all child labour. To keep the point short, clear and to the point, the Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States also opposed the amendment, with or without the reference to "time-bound programmes". Although national programmes were important, they should be referred to at a later stage. The Worker members thereupon withdrew the amendment as subamended.

126. An amendment submitted by the Employer members proposed to place point 8 after point 10, so that the subject would be defined before addressing the obligations of ratifying Members. After some discussion, it was decided that the question would be dealt with by the Drafting Committee.

127. Point 8 was adopted as amended.

Point 9

128. Based on an amendment to point 1 to replace "extreme forms" with "the worst forms" of child labour and a decision of the Committee to reflect the change throughout the Proposed Conclusions, the introductory phrase to point 9 reads: "For the purposes of the Convention, the expression 'the worst forms of child labour' should comprise:".

129. An amendment submitted by the Employer members to place point 9 before point 8 was referred to the Drafting Committee.

Clause (a)

130. The Worker members submitted an amendment to include "all types of work or activities where the child is delivered to and wholly dependent on the employer". The intention was to focus more explicitly on the hidden nature of some of the worst forms of child labour, such as children in domestic service. The Government member of Italy approved the amendment, pointing out that Italy considered it important to pay special attention to activities or work carried out in situations where the child could be mistreated or humiliated, and to keep in mind the effects of domestic work, including on girl children. The Government member of Croatia stated that she would have liked to support the amendment if the definition had related to types of work and not to conditions. The Employer members opposed the amendment, as did the Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States. They argued that while domestic service was an important category of child labour to be included, the suggested wording was not specific enough. Moreover, the phrase "practices similar to slavery", covered the forms of child labour that the amendment was intended to cover. With the clear understanding and agreement by the Committee that this was the interpretation, the Worker members withdrew the amendment. Clause (a) was adopted without change.

Clause (b)

131. The Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States submitted an amendment to replace the words "the use, engagement or offering of a child in illegal activities, for" by the words "exploitation of a child for the purpose of", so that the text of the point would read: "the exploitation of a child for the purpose of prostitution, production of pornography or pornographic performances". The Government member of Canada, speaking on behalf of the above-mentioned countries, stated that this formulation would reflect more appropriately the intention of the instruments, which was to target those who exploited children and not the children themselves. She believed that "exploitation" included "the use, engagement or offering". She recalled the discussions on the United Nations Draft Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. She explained that the references to prostitution and pornography were maintained because the instruments called for criminal penalties, thus the need to mention the specific activities and actions that would be penalized. The reference to "illegal activities" had been deleted, but would be proposed in a subsequent amendment as a separate clause. The Government member of Switzerland added that for the purpose of clarity, mention of sexual exploitation should be separated from mention of illegal activities. The Government members of India and Sudan supported the amendment. The Government member of Sudan said that the use of the word "exploitation" was stronger than the original text and implied corruption.

132. Several members of the Committee, including the Employer members and the Government members of Cameroon, Cuba, Egypt, Guinea, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, and Peru opposed the amendment and supported the original text of point 9(b). The phrase "the use, engagement or offering" was clearer than "exploitation". In reply to a clarification on the Office text, the representative of the Secretary-General explained that "the use, engagement or offering" was spelled out along with the specific references to prostitution, production of pornography and pornographic performances because criminal penalties were called for and the specific criminal acts needed to be clear. The Government member of the Republic of Korea opposed the amendment because the text should be understandable to children so that they could readily invoke their rights and the original text was clearer. The Government member of Croatia stated that she could only support the word "engagement" but not the phrase "use and offering". Her Government's position was that the definition of child labour should not include activities which were criminal offences and as such were clearly defined in paragraph 22 of the Proposed Conclusions. The Government member of Venezuela pointed out that what was described as work in the Office text constituted a criminal offence in her country. To accept that certain activities such as prostitution, production of pornography, pornographic performances and drug trafficking, should be qualified as work was degrading to the concept of work and legitimized violations of the law.

133. The Government member of Uruguay supported separating the mention of illegal activities. However, she opposed the use of "exploitation" because although it covered "use" and "offering" she felt it did not cover "engagement". The representative of the Secretary-General explained that "engagement" could cover contractual relationships or instances where an intermediary was used.

134. There was a discussion of what was meant by "illegal activities" and its placement in the text. The representative of the Secretary-General explained that the placement of "illegal activities" in the text was separate from the reference to prostitution, production of pornography and pornographic performances because the latter were intended to be prohibited regardless of whether they were illegal under national legislation. The phrase "illegal activities" was used because it was broad enough to include not only production or trafficking of drugs, which had been suggested in the questionnaire, but other illegal activities akin to work, including organized criminal activities such as gambling and running goods or drugs across borders.

135. The Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the sponsors of the amendment, suggested a subamendment to replace "engagement" with "procuring" so that clause (b) would read as follows: "the use, procuring, or offering of a child for prostitution, production of pornography or pornographic performances". The Government member of Hungary supported the amendment as subamended and supported including "illegal activities" in a separate clause because the original text could be misinterpreted to mean that prostitution and pornography were the illegal activities prohibited.

136. The Government members of Cuba, Guinea, Guatemala, Madagascar, South Africa, and Venezuela opposed the subamendment. However, following an indicative show of hands, the amendment as subamended was adopted. Thus, the reference to illegal activities was deleted from the clause.

137. The Worker members withdrew an amendment to replace "prostitution, production of pornography or pornographic performances" by "commercial sexual exploitation". Clause (b) was adopted as amended.

New clause after clause (b)

138. The Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States submitted an amendment to add a new clause as follows: "(c)the use of a child in illegal activities, in particular in production and trafficking of drugs." Introducing the amendment, the Government member of Germany subamended it to read as follows: "the use, procuring or offering of a child in illegal activities, in particular in production and trafficking of illegal drugs." The Worker and Employer members supported the proposed amendment as subamended.

139. The Government members of Pakistan and Cyprus argued that "illegal" before the word "drug" was redundant since the word "trafficking" suggested that it concerned illegal substances. The Government member of Germany agreed to drop the word "illegal". The Employer Vice-Chairperson preferred the word "illegal". The Worker Vice-Chairperson thought that trafficking had a connotation of illegality, but, since there were different views suggested the wording "production or trading in illegal drugs". The Government member of Sudan supported the subamendment of the Worker members.

140. The Government members of France and Sweden suggested that reference should be made to definitions used by the United Nations. The Government member of Sweden referred to Article 33 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The suggestion to use similar language was supported by the Government members of Canada, Italy, France, Hungary and Uruguay. The following language was agreed: "the use, procuring or offering of a child in illegal activities, in particular in production and trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in relevant international treaties". The Government member of the UK inquired whether the reference to relevant international treaties was the correct wording. The representative of the Secretary-General said that this was the wording in Article 33 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The amendment as subamended was adopted. A new clause after clause (b) was adopted.

New clause after clause (b)

141. The Government member of Italy submitted an amendment to add a new clause as follows: "all forms of activity which involve the use of violence, including all forms of military activity." Recognizing that this was a very delicate subject, she explained that drawing attention to the fact that children should not be involved in military action was important. The involvement of children in war should without a doubt be considered one of the worst forms of child labour. The Government member of Uruguay had submitted a similar amendment to add to clause (b) coverage for children "as combatants", and also supported this amendment.

142. The Employer Vice-Chairperson emphasized that the Employer members totally opposed the use of children in military activities and insurgencies, and abhorred the effect of war on children, thus it was important to protect them. The members, however, were concerned about considering war and combat as work, and believed that the protection of children in armed conflict was more appropriately dealt with outside the proposed Convention. The appropriate place for the debate was in the United Nations where a draft optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on involvement of children in armed conflicts was being considered. Furthermore, the amendment was formulated too broadly and could be interpreted to include sports. The Government member of Venezuela said that forced recruitment of minors was condemned by her country. The Government members of Japan and the Republic of Korea also opposed the amendment and objected to the inclusion of a reference to children in armed conflict as inappropriate for this Convention.

143. The Worker members emphasized their strong feelings on the subject and reiterated an earlier held position that the involvement of children in armed conflict was common and that excluding reference to them in the Convention would be irresponsible.

144. The Government member of Sweden maintained that the discussion of children in the military or armed conflicts was relevant and appropriate to discuss in relation to the proposed Convention, but that the time was wrong to formulate a provision in view of the ongoing discussions on a draft optional protocol under the Commission on Human Rights. The negotiations were in a crucial stage and any statement by this Committee could interfere with those negotiations. Hence, he suggested delaying a decision until the second discussion in 1999, with the understanding that the Committee found the proposal relevant and that there should be coverage by the Convention. The Government members of Canada, Norway, Pakistan and the United Kingdom shared the same concerns about the impact on the negotiations on the draft optional protocol and the importance of removing children from combat.

145. The Worker Vice-Chairperson objected to any suggestion that this Committee was not competent to deal with the issue or needed to subordinate its work to any other body. In addition, the specific contribution workers and employers could make to this debate should not be underestimated as they had special expertise, including on the "heart and soul of the matter". It was irrelevant that another United Nations body was discussing the subject. This position was supported by the Government members of Egypt, Guinea, Turkey, Uruguay and Venezuela -- all of whom emphasized that the involvement of children in armed conflict was unquestionably one of the worst forms of child labour and was therefore within the competence of the Committee's work. Coming back to the issue, the Worker members agreed to defer a discussion on the subject of children in armed conflicts, on the understanding that it was because of the diversity of opinion and that the competence of the Committee to deal with this matter was not in doubt. The Employer members supported the suggestion to defer the discussions, but because it was obvious that there had been no specific reference to children in armed conflict, asked about coverage in the Office text. The representative of the Secretary-General commented that the Proposed Conclusions did not make reference to specific categories here and that they were not excluded. Following an indicative vote, it was agreed that the Committee was competent to discuss the matter and the discussions were deferred until the second discussion in 1999. The amendment was consequently withdrawn by the Government member of Italy who emphasized again the importance of the issue.

Clause (c)

146. The Government members of Egypt and Pakistan submitted an amendment to insert the word "hazardous" before "nature" and the word "dangerous" before "circumstances" and to delete the rest of the sentence after "children", so that the clause would read as follows: "any type of work or activity which, by its hazardous nature or the dangerous circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to jeopardize the health, safety or morals of children." The intention was to make the wording more specific. The last part of the sentence proposed for deletion, was found to be superfluous as it had not been used in either clause (a) or (b). The amendment was supported by the Government members of Sudan and India who argued that it made the point clearer. Further, the definitions in point 15 had been referred to as "hazardous work". The Government member of Spain wondered about the meaning of "dangerous" and "hazardous" and the problems of determining such work situations or conditions. Several members of the Committee, including the Employer and Worker members and the Government member of Hungary, opposed the amendment. While the Employer members opposed, in particular, the proposed deletion of the last part of the sentence, the Worker members supported its deletion, but opposed the suggested inclusion of the words "hazardous" and "dangerous", which made the text unnecessarily complicated. In view of a lack of support, the Government member of Egypt withdrew the amendment.

147. The Worker members submitted an amendment to delete the remainder of the sentence after "children". The Worker Vice-Chairperson explained that there was a danger that the wording "so that they should not be used or engaged in such work or activity under any circumstances" could be misused or misunderstood. While the Government member of Sudan supported the amendment, it was opposed by the Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States. The Employer members also reiterated their opposition to the deletion, stressing the importance of the last part of the sentence. Several members of the Committee sought clarity as to its meaning. The Government member of Hungary asked whether "so that" had to be interpreted as "therefore", "in such a manner that", or "to the extent that" and the Government member of France wondered whether the proposed provisions would allow apprentices as from the age of 16 years to be trained in hazardous occupations, provided that their full protection could be ensured, as permitted by Convention No. 138.

148. The representative of the Secretary-General said that the phrase had been used because no derogations, similar to Convention No. 138, such as for age 16 or for training, had been spelled out. It thus appeared that "so that" meant "therefore" and clause (c) exceeded the requirements of Convention No. 138. The Worker Vice-Chairperson thereupon proposed to replace "so that" with "who should therefore". The Government member of Hungary opposed the proposal because it turned the last part of the sentence into a requirement rather than a definition.

149. The Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the of Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States requested a clarification on the ability of countries to interpret the phrase "by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out". The representative of the Secretary-General replied that it appeared that the views of the Committee and the spirit within which the amendment had been discussed supported the interpretation that the Committee intended to respect the spirit and flexibility of Convention No. 138. Point 9(c), read in conjunction with point 10, which called for national laws or regulations or the competent authority to determine, in consultation with the organizations of employers and workers concerned, the types of work or activity referred to under point 9(c), was consistent with the flexibility provided in Article 3 of Convention No. 138. There was not a lower age of 16 provided for, but there was flexibility similar to Convention No. 138 when viewing Points 9(c) and 10 together for determining whether adequate training or full protection had been provided, for example, as a circumstance in which the work was carried out.

150. The Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the same list of Government members, could thus support the amendment. A question was then put concerning the implication of changing the reference from "likely to jeopardize" to "jeopardizes". The representative of the Secretary-General said that the phrase "likely to jeopardize" was consistent with Article 3 of Convention No. 138 and would not be limited to circumstances that, in fact, had jeopardized the health, safety or morals of a young person. It would allow for defining likely hazards in advance. The amendment submitted by the Worker members to delete "so that they should not be used or engaged in such work or activity under any circumstances" was adopted. The Employer members withdrew an amendment to replace "is likely to jeopardize" by "jeopardizes".

151. The Government members of France and Switzerland submitted an amendment to provide that clause (c) would include any other type of work or activity which, by its nature or circumstances in which it was carried out, was likely to jeopardize the "health and safety of children or to harm their physical, mental spiritual, moral or social development". The Government member of Switzerland stated that the amendment would add to the text the concept of harm to the development of the child, which would be in line with Article 32 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, education had been left out because there was no consensus among members of the Committee.The Worker members said that the amendment had merit, but that education should be included.

152. The Government member of Sweden supported the amendment; it would be beneficial for the new Convention to be in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which had nearly universal ratification. He recalled that the ILO had played an important role in the drafting of Article 32 of the Convention and that there was a close linkage between point 9(c) and 10 and Article 32. He supported the view of the Worker members to include education, which was also supported by the Government member of Uruguay.

153. The Government member of Hungary opposed the amendment. He agreed with the sentiments that had been expressed earlier in the Committee that there be a short, focused Convention on the worst forms of child labour. However, the amendment could reach 90 per cent of work done by children. The Employer members also opposed the amendment stating that the additions were repetitious of the terms already used in the text and were confusing. They also agreed with the Government member of Hungary that the text should be kept short and focused. The Government members of Sudan and the United Kingdom also opposed the amendment as it was preferable to maintain consistency with Convention No. 138. In addition, the concepts seemed to be already covered.

154. The Government member of France maintained that the amendment was justified. The terms "health, safety or morals" used in Convention No. 138 had meaning when Convention No. 138 was adopted, but now it would be useful to follow the text of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was widely ratified.

155. The representative of the Secretary-General informed the Committee that while Article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child protected children from economic exploitation and from performing any work that was likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the development of the child as referred to in the amendment, it did not specify the minimum age(s) for employment. The Government member of Sweden followed up that although the Convention on the Rights of the Child did not make explicit provision for the minimum age(s) for admission to employment, it required member States to set them with reference to relevant provisions of other international instruments, which included ILO Convention No. 138.

156. The Government member of Switzerland stated that the amendment was not redundant and extended to a broader range of precise situations than the Office text. She gave the example of the possibility of a child's physical condition deteriorating as a result of not being fully physically developed, thus the impact of work on the development of the child was an important consideration. In view of the concerns expressed, the Government member of France proposed a subamendment to replace the word "morals" with "moral development". It was supported by the Government members of Canada, Finland and the Netherlands. The Government members of Pakistan, Rwanda, Spain, Sudan and United Kingdom opposed the subamendment, wishing to retain the reference to morals. The Government members of France and Switzerland withdrew the amendment in view of the lack of support.

157. The Government member of Italy submitted an amendment to replace the word "morals" with the words "physical and psychological well-being and emotional development", so that the text of clause (c) would read as follows: "any other type of work or activity which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to jeopardize the health, safety or physical and psychological well-being and emotional development of children." The Government member of Italy insisted on the importance of placing the child at the centre of action and ensuring that the child had a state of equilibrium for its growth and development. The Worker members wanted to ensure that the psychological well-being of children was protected. The Government member of Sweden supported the amendment, while the Employer members and the Government members of Hungary, Pakistan, United Kingdom and Venezuela opposed it. The Government of Venezuela suggested that the concept of health was broader and that "health", according to the World Health Organization (WHO), did not refer simply to the absence of illness but covered physical, psychological and emotional well-being. In view of the indication of the lack of support, the Government member of Italy withdrew the amendment.

158. The Government member of the Democratic Republic of the Congo supported the Workers' position proposing that the worst forms of child labour also comprise "work which would constitute an obstacle to the education and full development of children". He wanted to see a better link established between child labour and education. Many children, because of their work schedule, were prevented from going to school or properly preparing their lessons. While the amendment was supported by the Government of Uruguay, it was opposed by the Employer members as well as Government members of Hungary, the United Kingdom, Sudan, and Sweden. The Worker members were pleased with the wide interest that had been shown in education and the intention to remove obstacles to it, but preferred a subsequent Worker amendment on "access to basic education", as a criterion for defining the worst forms of child labour. The Government member of the United Kingdom stressed his Government's support for education, which had been emphasized by his Minister's address to the Global March against Child Labour. While education should be referred to in point 11, it should not be included in the definition of the worst forms of child labour, since it would seem to enlarge the scope of coverage of the Convention to encompass all harmful forms of child labour. The Government member of the Democratic Republic of the Congo withdrew the amendment.

159. The Worker members submitted an amendment to replace the word "morals" with "access to basic education". The Worker Vice-Chairperson introduced the amendment exphasizing that education was of crucial importance for workers throughout the world. It was also in the interest of employers to have an educated, skilled workforce. Education was important to the future of communities; lack of educational opportunities would create generations of uneducated citizens, which would perpetuate the cycle of poverty. Access to basic education needed to be a criterion in this Convention for determining the worst forms of child labour. That was not to say that universal education would be available tomorrow, but that children who were working, as well those withdrawn from hazardous work, would have access to education that did exist.

160. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said that he agreed with the arguments about the value of education. Enterprises increasingly depended on a competent and educated workforce to compete. However, the purpose of this Convention was to identify the worst forms of child labour and remove children from them. He pointed out that member States that did not have the resources to provide public education would have difficulty in ratifying this Convention. Due to the urgent need to stop the worst forms of child labour, excuses should not be provided for continuing abuses, thus the Committee needed to examine carefully all possible obstacles to its ratification. Point 9(c) was not the appropriate place for making reference to the important issue of access to education. The Employer members could, however, support its inclusion under point 11. He also recalled that a provision stating the importance of basic education had been included in the Preamble.

161. The Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of 45 Government members, said that there was a general consensus among Government members that education played a crucial role in action for the elimination of child labour. It was also agreed that for the credibility of this Convention it was essential to include a reference to education in its text, but that the best place for it would be under point 11, or elsewhere, but not under point 9 in the definition of the worst forms of child labour.

162. The Government member of Sweden argued that there was a difference between saying that education was a "tool" to prevent and address the problem of child labour and its worst forms, and whether the prevention of access to education was so serious a danger as to warrant including it in the definition of the worst forms. Point 9(c) included the criteria of health, safety or morals. Point 9 combined with point 10 provided the procedure to define the work or activity that was so serious that it would be reasonable to include under the Convention. All problems concerning health, safety and morals would not sink to the level of the worst forms, but rather only certain aspects or treatment of the child. The same could be argued for access to basic education as a criterion; the consultative process in point 10 would be determining when it fell within the worst forms of child labour. It would thus be inappropriate not to mention education as a criterion. When work or the conditions of work would result in systematically preventing a child of school age from going to school, it would be the type of treatment that should be addressed by this Convention.

163. The Government members of Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa and Uruguay supported the amendment, considering that any work that prevented children from access to basic education was one of the worst forms of child labour, therefore it should be included in the definition. The Government member of Norway supported that idea, but would accept the consensus of many of the Government members as stated by the Government member of the Netherlands. The Government member of Uruguay added that access to education had to be ensured, especially for young girls. She referred to a similar amendment that she was prepared to submit that would highlight in a separate clause that any type of work which prevented children from receiving primary or basic education was a worst form of child labour and should therefore be considered as part of the definition whether or not it was also reflected later in point 11 in relation to prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration.

164. The Worker Vice-Chairperson further explained that so far the definition in point 9 had included the ban on slavery or practices similar to slavery, forced or compulsory labour, debt bondage, serfdom, the use of children in prostitution and production of pornography and illegal activities. It also referred to work which could jeopardize health, safety and morals of children. But there could be no violation worse than denying a child access to education. When the child was denied the opportunity of education, the whole climate of development was affected. It was as important as a child losing a finger or otherwise being physically damaged. The Worker members were also prepared to accept this concept in a separate clause.

165. The Government member of Zimbabwe agreed that it was necessary for children to have their right to education ensured and supported the idea of including it in the text of the Convention, but asked for a clarification about the commitments that would be placed on Governments if it were to be included under point 9 or point 11, particularly concerning countries with few resources.

166. The Worker Vice-Chairperson responded that he understood the position of governments who had to find the means to implement the child's right to education. But it was political will that was crucial to its implementation. He said that many Governments were supporting action against child labour through IPEC and member States could benefit from this assistance.

167. The Government member of Pakistan opposed the amendment because access to education did not fall within the definition of the worst forms of child labour. She preferred to maintain the word "morals" in the text. Developing countries were prepared to ratify this Convention if it provided sufficient flexibility, but this amendment would make it difficult for some Governments. She said that the provision of education was the prime responsibility of governments and could not be achieved through international assistance alone. She suggested that a reference to the Governments' responsibility to ensure basic education could be included under Point 11.

168. The Worker Vice-Chairperson reiterated his strong feeling that "access to education" should be included in point 9 and that the Worker members were not satisfied with a reference to it in point 11. They would continue to discuss the matter with all interested parties before the second discussion in 1999. However, they would withdraw the amendment if a suitable alternative formulation and placement could be found in the text and they called on the Office to assist. Some members of the Committee also wished for the representative of the Secretary-General to comment on the impact of the scope of the instruments if the amendment were to be retained to the definition.

169. The representative of the Secretary-General said that there was no doubt about the importance of education. Convention No. 138 and Recommendation No. 146 clearly linked the minimum age for admission to employment or work to the age of compulsory education. The ILO's policy had been to explain and articulate the important role of universal, compulsory education, both as an end and means of dealing with child labour. A consensus in the Committee had emerged that education should be addressed in the new Convention. The question was where best to deal with it. First, education could be strongly reflected in the Preamble and the Committee had already stated the importance of basic education there. Second, it could be included in the operational part of the instruments, such as in point 11(2), as discussed by the Committee, or as a separate provision referring to education as a preventive measure. Third, in the Recommendation under the part on national programmes of action, there could be a statement reaffirming the important role of universal basic education in the fight against child labour. The Worker and Employer members agreed to defer the discussion of the amendment on "access to education" until the discussion of point 11 and would consult with the Office on an appropriate wording of the text.

170. The Government member of Uruguay submitted a similar amendment to add a new clause with the following text: "any type of work which prevents children from receiving primary or basic education". The Government member of Cuba supported the amendment. The Government member of Pakistan pointed out that in the discussion on the previous amendment a consensus had emerged that the discussion of education would be considered under point 11.

171. The Government member of Uruguay requested a clarification from the Office on what were the implications of including education under point 9, before she would withdraw the amendment. The representative of the Secretary-General explained why access to basic education had not been included in the Office text. The text was drafted to ensure focus on the worst forms of child labour that had been discussed when the Governing Body had placed child labour on the agenda of the Conference, and to maintain consistency with Article 3(1) of Convention No. 138. Including access to basic education in point 9 would clearly widen the scope of the draft instruments.

172. The Government member of Cuba supported the amendment stressing that education was not only a cure but a preventive measure. Although including education in point 9 would widen the scope of the instruments, she stated that work which denied access to basic education and thus hampered a child's development should be included as a preventive measure to provide broad protection to children. Following an indicative show of hands, the amendment was withdrawn.

173. Point 9 was adopted, as amended.

Point 10

174. The Worker members submitted an amendment to delete the word "determine" in the first sentence and instead say "identify the existence of these" types of work or activity referred to under point 9(c). Since the criteria for the worst forms of child labour had already been laid down in Point 9, the types of work or activity did not need to be determined. Yet their existence still had to be identified at the national level on the basis of tripartite consultations. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said that the meaning of the terms "determine" and "identify" was debatable and suggested a subamendment to use both terms so that the particular passage of point 10 would read: "... determine and identify the existence of these types of work or activity ..".

175. The Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States opposed the amendment because they wanted to retain the word "determine" to be consistent with Convention No. 138. However, the Government member of the Netherlands said she supported the proposed subamendment. Considerable discussion ensued on the implications of the terms and several suggestions for rewording were made. The Worker members wanted an understanding that the wording would not allow for any exemptions to the parameters laid down in point 9, such as exceptions allowed in Convention No. 138. The Government member of the Netherlands wanted Point 10 to allow for the same flexibility as Articles 3(3) and 6 of Convention No. 138.

176. To arrive at a compromise, the Government member of Austria proposed a new subamendment taking into account both the terms "determine" and "identify" as well as "types of work" and "existence". It read as follows: "... determine the types of work or activity referred to under point 9(c) and identify their existence, taking into account relevant international standards". The Employer members and the Government members of Belgium, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and United Kingdom supported this subamendment. The Government member of Hungary opposed it, preferring instead the original Office text. The subamendment was adopted and the amendment as subamended was adopted.

177. The Worker members submitted an amendment to delete the word "after" and replace it with the word "through" to ensure that the importance of tripartite consultation in exercising this requirement of the Convention was clearly understood. The Employer members supported the amendment. The Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States opposed the amendment, preferring the word "after" which was consistent with the terminology used in Convention No. 138. The Government members of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda also opposed the amendment because it was the State that had to take the decision and the normal reference was to "after" consultations. The Worker members withdrew the amendment.

178. In view of earlier revisions in the text of point 10, the Worker members withdrew an amendment to say "according to the criteria in" point 9(c) rather than "referred to under" point 9(c).

179. The Government members of Austria and Germany withdrew an amendment to include a reference to "other concerned groups" in favour of a subsequent amendment on the same issue.

180. The Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States submitted an amendment to add "other concerned groups, as appropriate" to those that needed to be consulted to determine and identify the types of work or activity referred to under point 9(c). Explaining that the Government members who submitted this amendment under no circumstances questioned the tripartite nature of the ILO, the Government member of the Netherlands pointed out that there were other groups in society that had a crucial role to play in combatting child labour and therefore should be involved. The Government members of Egypt and Sudan, affirming the importance of a broad spectrum of partners, supported the amendment. The Worker members, while appreciating the need for cooperation and the important contribution NGOs and other players had made to the cause of combating child labour, strongly opposed the amendment. The ILO tripartite structure was the only legal authority. They were, however, willing to consider referring to other concerned parties in the Recommendation. The Employer members opposed the amendment and pointed out that consultation with "other concerned groups" was not precluded. The Government members of Cyprus, India, Namibia and Spain also opposed the amendment to preserve the tripartite nature of the ILO, which did not undermine the important contribution of NGOs. To show their commitment to the tripartite nature of the ILO, the Government sponsors of the amendment withdrew it.

181. The Employer members submitted an amendment deleting in the second line the words "where such exist" and inserting the words " by the competent authority " after the word "examined". Introducing the amendment, the Employer Vice-Chairperson subamended it by adding "after consultation with the organizations of employers and workers concerned" after "the competent authority". The amendment was to clarify who would do the re-examining and, this too, should be after consultations. The Worker members supported the amendment as subamended, as did the Government members of Canada, Egypt, Italy, Japan and Sudan.

182. The Government member of Cyprus had no problem with the intent of the amendment as subamended, but thought that the addition of "after consultation with the organizations of employers and workers concerned" was redundant since the need for such consultation was already implicitly recognised in the earlier part of point 10. The Government members of France, Netherlands, Rwanda and Venezuela supported his view that it was repetitive and that there was no added value to it. The Worker Vice-Chairperson, noting that there was sufficient support for the amendment as subamended, suggested splitting point 10 so that the second sentence would be a second paragraph. A reformulation of point 10 was agreed as follows:

183. The amendment as subamended was adopted.

184. The Worker members withdrew an amendment to add after the word "standards" in the fourth line, the following sentence: "The physical, psychological, educational and social development of the child should also be taken into account". The Worker Vice-Chairperson explained that while these issues greatly concerned the Worker members, they would resubmit them for discussion at a later stage.

185. The Worker members submitted an amendment to replace the last sentence with the following text:

and to add a new paragraph as follows:

186. The Worker members wanted to provide clarity and avoid nebulous and vague interpretations of what could be considered the worst forms of child labour. The additions were essentially from point 15, with a few modifications, such as the addition of "lifting or" in clause (c) and the use of "high or low" in clause (d) instead of "extreme". They further subamended the amendment to delete clause (f) and (2)(a) in light of the previous discussion and decisions taken on those matters.

187. The Employer Vice-Chairperson noted that the amendment in effect moved point 15 from the Recommendation into the body of the Convention and wondered what was meant by the phrase "as a minimum" and whether "work and activities" was intended to extend beyond work. He also wanted an explanation of why "high or low" replaced "extreme" because he believed "extreme" accurately described what was intended by the instrument. He further noted that reports under article 22 of the ILO Constitution would be required according to ILO procedures and thus reference to that effect in the proposed instruments was not necessary. The Worker members agreed to delete the rest of paragraph (2) from the amendment and explained that "high or low" was clearer than "extreme", and that "lifting" was added because transporting of heavy loads would not necessarily cover the lifting of heavy loads.

188. The Government member of Hungary requested the Committee to first decide whether such provision should be included in the Convention, and then address the content of the amendment in detail. This procedure was agreed. The Employer members opposed including the amendment in the Convention, as did the Government members of the Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, India, Japan, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe, who preferred including such provision in the Recommendation. The Government member of the Republic of Korea also opposed the amendment because it would widen the scope of the Convention and make the Convention less flexible, therefore impeding ratification.

189. The Government member of Norway, speaking on behalf of Denmark, Finland and Sweden, supported the amendment and stressed the need for including such guidelines in the Convention to provide assistance to countries in determining hazardous work, which should not be left totally to the discretion of national authorities. It was necessary that it be a binding obligation to take into account the criteria. The Government members of Denmark and Switzerland added their support and stressed that the text of the Convention should be clear and relate closely to the world of work. Adding specificity to the text would strengthen the Convention.

190. The Government members of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cyprus, Italy and Uruguay supported the amendment. The Government member of Hungary also supported the amendment. He felt that including such details in the text of the Convention would make it clearer and was consistent with the general consensus that had emerged to have a strong and focused Convention.

191. The Employer members opposed the amendment reiterating that the Convention should be flexible and as brief and objective as possible. They were concerned with the level of detail and the prescriptive and subjective nature of the points. The Government member of Turkey and the Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of a majority of the IMEC Government members and Central and Eastern European Government members, stressed the desire to have a short and concise instrument that would gain universal ratification. Thus it was appropriate to include such detail in the Recommendation.

192. There was a brief discussion on what was meant by the phrase "exposure to physical, emotional and sexual abuse". The Worker Vice-Chairperson pointed out that it included work that might scar a child psychologically, yet not necessarily physically. Following a show of hands indicating a preference for the provision in the Recommendation, the Worker members withdrew the amendment. The Government members of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden also withdrew a similar amendment in light of the preceding discussion.

193. Point 10 as amended was adopted.

New point after point 10

194. The Government members of Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden submitted an amendment to add a new point after point 10: "Members should establish or designate appropriate national mechanisms to monitor the application of national and international provisions aimed at the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour." The Government member of Sweden introduced the amendment explaining that to achieve changes emphasis should be on implementation. It was therefore appropriate to recognize a mechanism in the Convention to guarantee that implementation would be carried out. The amendment would place the subject of point 19 of the Recommendation into the Convention.

195. The Employer members opposed the amendment and were concerned about the imposition of national monitoring mechanisms on Governments, because it might prevent them from ratifying the Convention. This reference should remain in the Recommendation.

196. The Worker members supported the amendment because it clarified the intention of the Convention to be action oriented. The Government member of the United Kingdom supported the amendment, saying that governments could designate existing bodies for this task without necessarily creating additional burdens. The Government member of Hungary also supported the amendment, while the Government members of Egypt, Japan and Sudan opposed it on the grounds that the Convention should be succinct and they preferred to have the text of the amendment in the Recommendation.

197. The Government member of the Netherlands emphasized that the ratification of the Convention was very important, but its implementation, which required appropriate monitoring procedures, was an essential part of the Convention.

198. The Government member of Pakistan asked for clarification on the types of national mechanisms that were foreseen since it was clear that once governments ratified the Convention, the implementation was to follow. The Chairperson responded that it was up to governments to design the appropriate mechanisms.

199. The Government member of Hungary proposed a subamendment to delete the references to national mechanisms and national and international provisions. The subamended text would read as follows: "Members should establish or designate appropriate mechanisms to monitor the application of provisions aimed at the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour."

200. The Government member of Sweden accepted the subamendment. He further explained that when designing the mechanism, governments could also designate mechanisms already in place. Some countries had set up mechanisms under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Employer members, though still preferring the provision in the Recommendation, agreed. The Worker members and the Government members of Canada, Philippines and Switzerland also supported the subamendment. After an indicative show of hands among the Government members, the subamendment was adopted and the amendment as subamended was adopted.

201. A new point after point 10 was adopted.

New point after point 10

202. The Government members of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland introduced an amendment to add a new point after point 10:

203. The Government member of Sweden, speaking on behalf of the above Government members, explained that ratifying countries needed to have national programmes of action and that the Convention should be more action oriented. A debate centred on whether the proposed amendment should be included in the Convention or the Recommendation. The Employer members opposed inclusion in the Convention, while the Worker members supported it. An indicative show of hands suggested that Government members were almost evenly divided about the issue. To facilitate progress in the debate, the Employer members supported inclusion in the Convention, with the implicit understanding that their preference would have been for inclusion in the Recommendation, and that the placement of the particular text would be reviewed again in the second discussion in 1999.

204. Regarding the substance of the proposed amendment, several subamendments were submitted and eventually agreed. The Government member of Hungary suggested replacing "members" with the wording "Each member which ratifies the Convention" to make it consistent with the formulation used in the Convention. The Employer members proposed to delete the word "national" before "programmes". The Worker members proposed a subamendment to delete "and other concerned groups, as appropriate", stressing the need for an exclusive tripartite mechanism and referred to the earlier debate on the subject that had concluded by not incorporating such reference. While the Employer members agreed with the subamendment put forward by the Worker members, the Government members of Italy, Netherlands and United Kingdom opposed it and wanted to retain the reference to "other concerned groups", especially since this provision was about programmes of action. The subamendment was agreed, however, and the amendment as subamended was adopted. The Government member of the Netherlands said they would come back to the issue of consultation with "other concerned groups" in the second discussion.

205. A new point after point 10 was adopted as follows:

Point 11

Paragraph (1)

206. The Employer members submitted an amendment to provide for effective "implementation and" enforcement and to include "appropriate" penalties instead of "criminal" penalties. The intention was to make the formulation less restrictive. The Worker members opposed the amendment. The Employer members withdrew it.

207. The Government members of Australia, Austria, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States submitted an amendment to replace the word "enforcement" with "implementation" and the word "criminal penalties" with "penal and other sanctions, as appropriate". Explaining the amendment, the Government member of Canada, speaking on behalf of the above group of Government members, pointed to the need for strengthening the language. Ratifying countries had to implement the Convention before they could enforce it. The Employer members supported the amendment.

208. The Worker members opposed the amendment. The Worker Vice-Chairperson argued that while one could implement without enforcing, one could not enforce without implementing. "Implementation" was thus implicitly included in the meaning of enforcement. As a possible compromise, he suggested the formulation "implementation and enforcement", which was supported by the Employer members. A debate on the connotation of both terms ensued. While some of the Government members believed that "implementation" included "enforcement", others believed the opposite. The subamendment to include "implementation and enforcement" was adopted and the amendment was adopted as subamended.

209. The Worker members withdrew an amendment to delete the remainder of the sentence after the word "enforcement" and replace it with "by provision and application of criminal penalties against those responsible for exploiting children through the worst forms of child labour, including through prosecution, in their own countries, of perpetrators of crimes committed in violation of the provisions of this Convention in other countries."

210. The Government members of India and Pakistan introduced an amendment to insert at the end of the sentence the words: "as reflected in and determined by national law", which they considered to be self-explanatory. The Employer members opposed it pointing out that it was redundant, as did the Worker members. In view of a lack of support, the Government member of India withdrew the amendment. Paragraph (1) was adopted as amended.

Paragraph (2)

211. The Worker members submitted an amendment to delete the entire paragraph and replace it as follows:

The Worker members pointed out that the amendment contained references to outstanding matters on which they held a strong position -- in particular those relating to access to education, rehabilitation and social reintegration, and the special situation of girls -- and suggested that the amendment be examined in stages. The Employer Vice-Chairperson proposed to discuss it in conjunction with another amendment to be submitted by the Government members of Australia, Austria, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States which also contained reference to "social reintegration through, inter alia, access to education and training".

212. The Government member of the United Kingdom, acknowledging the concessions the Worker members had made on these issues during earlier discussions introduced a subamendment as follows:

213. Given the problems faced by young women on a global scale, the Worker members strongly insisted that the reference to the special situation of girls be maintained. They also felt strongly about the need to refer to effective and "time-bound" measures; removal "from work"; and "free" basic education. The Government member of the United Kingdom agreed, except for the reference to the special situation of girls. Although his Government fully supported such a reference, other Government members might not because of inconsistency with their national laws. The Government members of Canada, Italy and the Netherlands supported the sub-subamendment of the Worker members.

214. The Employer members, reiterating the need for a flexible and concise Convention, ratifiable by as many countries as possible, opposed the insertion of the word "free" before the words "basic education". They also maintained their position that reference to the special situation of girls could better be made in the Recommendation. The Government member of Jamaica pointed out that all Government members in the Committee had made a commitment during the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing to deal with the special needs of the girl child, and made a strong appeal not to exclude reference to them in the Convention.

215. The Employer members said they could agree to the changes, except for the reference to "free" basic education which was too heavy an obligation to impose on certain countries, a position which was supported by the Government member of India. Several Government members, including Sweden, United Kingdom and Venezuela pointed out that access to "free basic education" was essential and that the words "time-bound " in the text implied that countries were not expected to provide "free basic education" all at once. Further, it was in the context of clause (b) on removing children from work and rehabilitating and reintegrating them. The Government member of Venezuela pointed out that one of the complementary means of fighting against the worst forms of child labour was to ensure regular school attendance. The Employer members asked for an interpretation of the text. A representative of the Legal Adviser said that under this Point, measures would have to be taken within a time-bound framework and one of the measures required from Members under clause (b) of the amendment would be providing access to free basic education. Following an indicative vote, the following language was agreed upon and the amendment as subamended was adopted:

216. The Employer Vice-Chairperson commented that the text just adopted was likely to be unratifiable which could accomplish nothing for the children of the world, and should be reconsidered in the second discussion.

217. The Government members of India and Pakistan withdrew an amendment to include the words "subject to the extent of available resources" after the word "assistance". The Employer members withdrew an amendment to delete the words "and their rehabilitation", and the Government members of Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States withdrew an amendment to include access to training.

218. Paragraph (2) was adopted as amended.

New paragraph after paragraph (2)

219. The Worker members submitted an amendment to add the following new paragraph after paragraph (2): "Further measures should include government procurement policies which provide incentives for the application of the provisions of this Convention." The Government member of Zimbabwe supported the amendment since it could assist countries who were unable to provide free basic education.

220. The Employer members opposed the amendment; it was a matter for contract compliance. The Government member of Japan, and the Government member of the United Kingdom, speaking on behalf of the Government members of the Member States of the European Union and Cyprus, opposed the amendment because procurement policies varied between countries and including such a provision would impede ratification. The amendment was withdrawn.

Paragraph (3)

221. The Worker members submitted an amendment to renumber paragraph (3) as the first paragraph of a new point and add the following:

222. The Worker members subamended the text after objections that it was more appropriate for a Recommendation, to retain only clause (c). The Worker Vice-Chairperson pointed to the need for protection from reprisals. He was aware of reports from children who had made appeals for themselves and had been tortured or had suffered other reprisals as a result.

223. The Employer members opposed the amendment; it could hinder ratification and was more appropriate in the Recommendation. The Government member of India, and the Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of a majority of the IMEC Government members, agreed with the Employers and opposed the amendment. The Government members of Gabon and Zimbabwe supported the amendment but proposed including clause (c) in the Convention and clause (d) in the Recommendation. The Worker Vice-Chairperson withdrew the amendment but asked that the issue be supported in the Recommendation.

224. The Government members of Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States submitted an amendment to replace "authority" by "authorities", which would take into account national, State and provincial authorities. It was referred to the Drafting Committee. Paragraph (3) was adopted without change.

Paragraph (4)

225. The Employer members, the Government members of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, United States and the Government member of the Republic of Korea submitted identical amendments to delete paragraph (4). The Convention did not need this level of detail and the provision was superfluous. The Government member of Canada added that the Convention became stronger because all persons had to comply with national laws or regulations. The Government member of India supported the amendment.

226. The Worker members opposed the amendment as the intention of this paragraph was to be consistent with Article 9(2) of Convention No. 138. The Government members of Austria, Egypt and Italy also opposed the amendment arguing that there was a need to define the appropriate persons who must comply with the law. The amendment was adopted and paragraph (4) was deleted.

227. Point 11 as amended was adopted.

Point 12

228. The Worker members submitted an amendment to require ratifying States to "disclose to the ILO information in their possession about violations of the Convention wherever they take place." The Worker Vice-Chairperson introduced the amendment saying that poverty ought not to be used as an excuse for not dealing with the worst forms of child labour. They wanted as much international support for the Convention as possible and the information could be used by the ILO in a positive way to fine-tune its programme and therefore be able to deal with the problem more effectively. However, after concerns raised by the Employer Vice-Chairperson and the Government member of India about implications for ILO reporting and complaints procedures and how the information would be used, the amendment was withdrawn.

229. The Government members of India and Pakistan submitted an amendment to replace the text of the point with a call for the need and responsibility of the international community to respond to requests for technical assistance and financial support to eradicate the worst forms of child labour and to create conditions for sustained economic growth and development and equitable distribution of benefits to all nations, recognizing that the primary responsibility for eradicating the worst forms of child labour was that of the affected countries themselves.

230. The Government member of India explained that while this Convention asked countries with serious child labour problems to take immediate steps to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, it needed to clarify the role of those countries who could support the countries most affected by this Convention who were faced with limited resources. He proposed to make it clear that while primary responsibility was with the countries concerned, the role of the international community should be spelled out in the Convention. Measures to help countries to stand on their own feet through economic development were necessary to solve the problems of poverty and child labour. The Convention should spell out a joint responsibility between the rich and poor nations. The Government member of Egypt supported the amendment.

231. The Employer members opposed the amendment; it was too long and inappropriate for a Convention text. The Worker Vice-Chairperson and the Government member of Cyprus said that while the amendment contained matters of concern, it was too long.

232. Numerous Government members, some of whom expressed sympathy for some of the ideas in the text, opposed the amendment because of the level of detail in a binding legal instrument. These included the Government members of Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States.

233. The Government member of Pakistan responded that the Office text did not sufficiently fulfil the need because the entire Convention placed a great deal of responsibility on countries with particular child labour problems, but did not specify the responsibility of the international community. The Government member of India withdrew the amendment, but emphasized again the importance of its last paragraph.

234. An amendment submitted by the Government members of Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and Sweden proposing to delete point 12 was withdrawn.

235. The Government members of Zambia and Zimbabwe submitted an amendment to revise the text so that Members would "be encouraged to request assistance in giving effect to the provisions of the Convention". The intention was to allow ratifying Members to seek assistance as and when they needed it. International cooperation and assistance were necessary, but should be provided upon request and subsequent to the development of national programmes and plans of action. The proposed amendment was opposed by the Worker and Employer members as it was confusing and too vague and the Office text already addressed the concern. The amendment was withdrawn.

236. The Employer members submitted an amendment to refer to "mutual legal" assistance rather than "judicial" assistance. This would be clearer, in particular in common law countries where the relevant authorities could include the police and other authorities not considered part of the judiciary. The amendment was supported by the Worker members who submitted a subamendment to insert "as appropriate" after "steps". Several Committee members, including the Government members of Cyprus and the Netherlands and the Employer members, supported the subamendment which was adopted. The Government member of the United Kingdom proposed a further subamendment to delete the examples "such as judicial and technical assistance" that would restrict the scope of assistance. The subamendment was supported by the Worker and Employer members and the Government member of Cuba. The subamendment was adopted. The amendment as amended was adopted.

237. Point 12 was adopted as amended to read as follows: "Members which ratify the Convention should take steps, as appropriate, to assist each other in giving effect to the provisions of the Convention through international cooperation or assistance."

D. Proposed conclusions with a view to a Recommendation

General provisions

Point 13

238. The Government members of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland and United Kingdom submitted an amendment to delete the words "and be applied in conjunction with". The Government member of France, speaking on behalf of the above Government members, considered that without the deletion there might be confusion about the legal status of a Recommendation, which was by definition not legally binding. When asked to clarify, a representative of the Legal Adviser stated that the Office text was the standard wording now used in Recommendations to avoid repeating definitions agreed on in the Convention. In no way would the Recommendation become legally binding. The amendment was withdrawn.

239. Point 13 was adopted without change.

National Programmes of action

Point 14

240. The Worker members submitted an amendment to replace the reference to national programmes of action so that Members should design and implement: "comprehensive, time-bound national programmes of action at all levels to eliminate the worst forms of child labour and to provide for the rehabilitation, social reintegration and access to education for children removed from these forms of child labour." The Worker Vice-Chairperson explained that although almost similar language had been used in the Convention, the amendment differed in so far as it referred specifically to what time-bound national programmes of action had to provide. A debate ensued about whether there was a need to reiterate in the Recommendation what had already been set out in the Convention in point 11. Several Committee members, including the Employer members and the Government members of Cyprus, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay believed that it was not necessary. If done so, however, it had to be ensured that the same wording was used. The Worker Vice-Chairperson responded that a Recommendation should be complementary to a Convention, yet at the same time be able to stand on its own.

241. After further discussion the Worker and Employer members agreed to a subamendment to replace paragraphs (1) and (2) with a reference to the new point added to the Convention on programmes of action and consistent with it, but also including consultation with "other concerned groups, as appropriate, " to meet the suggestions of some of the Government members. This was modified to place "as appropriate" before "other concerned groups". The subamendment thus read as follows: "The programmes of action, as set out in new point 13 of the Convention should be designed and implemented in consultation with relevant government institutions, employers' and workers' organizations, and, as appropriate, other concerned groups." The subamendment was supported by the Government members of the United States and the United Kingdom. The subamendment was opposed by the Government members of France and the Netherlands. The latter spoke on behalf of a group of Governments including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey who wanted to include consultation with "other concerned groups, in particular those representing the rights of the child". The Worker members, while acknowledging the important role and lauding the achievements of non-governmental organizations in the fight against child labour, were opposed to a reference to child rights groups or any other specific group.

242. The Government member of Sweden submitted a subamendment to rephrase it as follows: "in particular those defending the rights of the child". The Worker members reiterated their opposition. By specifying specific categories of groups to be consulted, other groups with a valid interest in the problem could be excluded. The Employer members and the Government member of Australia agreed with the Worker members, noting that the selection of other groups to be consulted should be left to the countries concerned. Following an indicative vote on the matter the subamendment as proposed by the Government member of Sweden was not accepted and the following text was adopted: "The programmes of action referred to in Point 13 of the Convention should be designed and implemented in consultation with relevant government institutions, employers' and workers' organizations and, as appropriate, other concerned groups." This replaced paragraphs (1) and (2) of the Point.

Paragraph 3

243. The Government members of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States submitted an amendment to add after the words "aim at" the words "inter alia". The Worker and Employer members supported it. The amendment was adopted. It was agreed that "They should aim at, inter alia:" would not be a separate paragraph.

244. The Worker members submitted an amendment to delete the full text of the paragraph and to replace it with the following one:

245. The intention of the amendment was to provide a set of guidelines for the programmes of action that ratifying Members had to design and implement. It was particularly important to address: (1) the problem of younger children without mentioning age 12, so that no inference could be made that the minimum ages in Convention No. 138 were undermined; (2) the exploiters of the worst forms of child labour; (3) protection against reprisals; and (4) the special situation of girls that had been mentioned in the Convention. The Worker members were willing to withdraw clauses (a), (c), (e), (j) and (l) to advance the work of the Committee, but would come back to the issues in the second discussion. They also wished to signal for the second discussion their concern about the psychological and other abuse and denial of education that was often experienced by children of people who had been forced to flee their countries.

246. The Employer members remarked that the amendment combined minor drafting changes with major changes relating to complex issues. Since this might complicate the discussions, they proposed to keep the Office text as a basis for the discussion and possible amendments. The Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the Government members of IMEC countries, fully supported the proposal of the Employers. The Worker members agreed to proceed in such manner and withdrew their amendment.

247. The Government member of Sudan, referring to concerns expressed by a majority of Government members of African countries, felt that it would greatly facilitate the discussions if the Office could clarify whether ILO Recommendations were legally binding. The representative of the Secretary-General said that a Recommendation was not legally binding and was not submitted for ratification.

Clause (a)

248. Clause (a) was adopted without change except for replacing "extreme" by "the worst".

Clause (b)

249. The Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the majority of the Government members of IMEC countries, proposed to replace the clause with the following text: "(b) giving special attention to younger children taking account of the extreme impact of the worst forms of child labour on their development," which was as had been proposed in clause (d) of the previous amendment by the Worker members. The Employer and Worker members and the Government member of India supported this text, while the Government member of Italy opposed it, preferring the Office text. The Government member of Uruguay argued that all forms of child labour had an extreme impact on younger children and not just the worst forms. This comment was also relevant with regard to clause (d). The Worker and Employer members responded that the Convention and Recommendation focused on the worst forms of child labour and that the Committee should be consistent in its work by referring to those. Clause (b) was adopted as amended.

Clause (c)

250. In the light of the discussions that had taken place on the issue, the Government members of Zambia and Zimbabwe withdrew an amendment to refer to the "vulnerable position of the girl child", instead of the "special situation of girls". The Government member of Sweden reintroduced it to subamend it as follows: "take account of the special need to address the problem of hidden work situations in which girls are at special risk and to take concrete action to prevent abuse and discrimination". The Employer and Worker members agreed, but proposed to further subamend it to end the clause after the word "risk". The Government members of Spain and Norway supported the subamendment of Sweden. The Government member of Sudan remarked that "hidden work situations" were beyond the scope of labour inspection and questioned the relevance of including reference to such situations. The Government member of Sweden pointed out that it was exactly for this reason that it was important to draw attention to this problem. He agreed, but with hesitation, to deleting the words "and to take concrete action to prevent abuse and discrimination" as suggested by the Employer and Worker members. The amendment as subamended was adopted and clause (c) was adopted as amended.

Clause (d)

251. The Employer members withdrew an amendment to replace part of the text with "the worst forms of child labour and removing them from such conditions".

252. The Government members of India and Pakistan moved to include the words "within available resources" after the word "rehabilitation" to stress that national governments could only implement measures within available resources. The Government member of Pakistan further explained that they did not introduce the amendment in the chapeau of point 14 because several clauses in the point dealt with human rights issues that could not be made subject to available resources. However, resources were needed for rehabilitation. The Worker and Employer members opposed the amendment stating that it was superfluous. The Employer Vice-Chairperson also said that the amendment could give the impression that rehabilitation was a low priority if it were the only provision mentioned in connection with resources. The Government member of India withdrew the amendment.

253. Clause (d) was adopted with only a drafting change, replacing "extreme" by "the worst".

Clauses (e) and (f)

254. Clauses (e) and (f) were adopted without change.

Clause (g)

255. The Government members of Zambia and Zimbabwe withdrew an amendment to redraft the text to "pay special" attention to "other groups of vulnerable children with special needs".

256. The Government member of South Africa submitted an amendment to delete the word "other", so that the text would read as follows: "giving attention to groups of children", rather than "other" groups of children with special vulnerabilities or needs. This was supported by the Government member of Namibia. It was not clear to whom the term "other" would refer. The Worker members opposed the amendment and pointed out that this was a saving clause to include other children with special vulnerabilities or needs who had not been explicitly mentioned in the instruments. The Employer members also opposed the amendment and added that it could include children with disabilities, for example, while the Government member of the United Kingdom gave migrant groups as an example. The Government member of Hungary suggested a drafting change to place clause (g) after clause (c), which was referred to the Drafting Committee. The Government member of South Africa withdrew the amendment. Clause (g) was adopted without change.

257. Point 14 was adopted as amended.

Hazardous work

Point 15

258. The Employer members withdrew an amendment to place point 15 before point 14. The Worker members submitted an amendment to align the text in point 15 with language used in the Convention. It was agreed to make the provision consistent with point 10 so that the first part of point 15 would read as follows: "In determining the types of work or activity referred to under point 9(c) and identifying their existence, consideration should be given, as a minimum to:"

Clauses (a) and (b)

259. The Employer members withdrew an amendment to put "harm or" after "sexual", in clause (a). Clause (a) was adopted with the insertion of "and activities" after "work" to make it consistent with point 9(c), which the Drafting Committee would review. Clause (b) was adopted without change.

Clause (c)

260. The Employer members proposed an amendment to delete the words "which involves" and to replace the word "transport" with "handling", to make the text more specific. The Worker members proposed a further subamendment to add just the word "handling", but to retain "transport". The Government member of Cyprus suggested that transport would be included in "handling". The subamendment was adopted and the amendment as subamended was adopted. The Worker members withdrew an amendment to insert "lifting or" after "manual". Clause (c) was adopted as amended to read "(c) work with dangerous machinery, equipment and tools, or which involves the manual handling and transport of heavy loads".

Clause (d)

261. An amendment was submitted by the Worker members to replace the word "extreme" to modify "temperatures" with "high or low" and to modify "noise" with "high". After some discussion about the appropriate modifiers for temperatures, noise levels and vibrations, the Government member of the United Kingdom proposed a subamendment to delete "extreme" before "temperatures" and add "damaging to health" at the end of the clause. The amendment as so subamended was adopted. Clause (d) was adopted as amended to read as follows; "(d) work in an unhealthy environment which may, for example, involve exposure to hazardous substances, agents or processes, or to temperatures, noise levels, or vibrations damaging to health."

Clause (e)

262. Clause (e) was adopted without change.

New clause after clause (e)

263. An amendment submitted by the Worker members to add a new clause (f) to include "recruitment or use of children as combatants" was withdrawn, since the Committee had agreed to discuss the issue in the second discussion in 1999. The Employer Vice-Chairperson also reiterated that the subject would be debated in the second discussion.

New Paragraph

264. The Worker members withdrew an amendment similar to one that had already been discussed and withdrawn in relation to point 10 on the process for determining and reporting to the ILO on types of child labour subject to the Convention.

265. Point 15 was adopted as amended.

Application

Point 16

266. The Government members of Botswana, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe submitted an amendment so that "as far as possible" the types of data indicated should be compiled and kept up to date, because the kinds of statistical information might not be available in all countries. A subamendment was proposed by the Government members of Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States to have "due regard for privacy rights". They could thus withdraw a similar amendment they were going to submit to accomplish the same thing. The amendment as subamended was adopted. The point would thus provide that "Detailed information and statistical data on the nature and extent of child labour, including, as far as possible and with due regard for privacy rights, data classified according to ...". The Government member of Uruguay suggested that it might be more appropriate to refer to the protection of workers' personal data, rather than to privacy rights, which was a broader concept. This issue was referred to the Drafting Committee.

267. An amendment proposed by the Worker members, sought to include a reference to "data on school attendance and notifications of violations". Because education was a critical factor, there should be some measure of school attendance. There was support from some Governments for data on school attendance, but it was suggested to drop "notifications of violations". The Employer members and the Government member of the United Kingdom spoke against the amendment as it was too broad and went beyond the focus of the instruments on the worst forms of child labour. In view of insufficient support, the amendment was withdrawn.

268. Two other amendments to make the language consistent with the language of the Convention by using "prohibition and immediate elimination" instead of "suppression", were adopted.

269. Point 16 was adopted as amended.

Point 17

270. The Government members of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States submitted an amendment to insert the words "In so far as possible" at the beginning of the Point, to be consistent with point 16. The Worker members opposed the amendment, and argued that point 16 was different because it referred to situations where governments could face difficulty in collecting certain types of data, but point 17 referred to national provisions already in place, the violation of which could be determined. Such information would be needed to assess implementation. The Employer members agreed and opposed the amendment. In view of the lack of support, the amendment was withdrawn.

271. The Worker members submitted an amendment to delete the word "national". The Employer members and the Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the Government members of IMEC countries, opposed the amendment on the grounds that it could widen the scope of the Convention. The Worker members withdrew the amendment.

272. The Worker members submitted an amendment to add at the end of the Point: "and of other violations of minimum age of employment legislation", to take note of all child labour violations. The Employer members, the Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the Government members of IMEC countries, and the Government members of Egypt and the United Kingdom opposed the amendment because it was too broad; this Convention was focused on the worst forms of child labour. In view of the lack of support, the Worker members withdrew the amendment.

273. The Worker members submitted an amendment to delete the words "immediate suppression" and to replace these with the words "prohibition and immediate elimination" to be consistent with the terminology already adopted for the Convention. The amendment was adopted.

274. Point 17 was adopted as amended.

Point 18

275. The Employer members withdrew an amendment to delete Point 18, in favour of maintaining the Office text.

276. The Worker members withdrew an amendment to provide that before the information was communicated to the ILO, it would be received by employers' and workers' organizations and other relevant organizations and institutions.

277. The Government members of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Lebanon and Syrian Arab Republic submitted an amendment to delete the word "should" and replace it with the word "would". The Employer and Worker members opposed the amendment, while the Government member of China supported it. The indicative vote showed that the amendment was not supported.

278. Point 18 was adopted without change.

Point 19

279. The Employer members and the Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States submitted identical amendments to insert the words "or designate" so that the text would call for Members to establish "or designate" appropriate national mechanisms to monitor the application of the Convention, recognizing that in some countries these mechanisms already existed. The Worker members supported the amendment and it was adopted.

280. The Worker members submitted an amendment that proposed the following text after the word "mechanisms": "with the involvement of employers' and workers' organizations and other relevant institutions and organizations" to ensure a consultative process in establishing or designating monitoring mechanisms. The Employer members believed that it was repetitive of point 14, however supported the amendment. The Government member of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of a number of Government members of IMEC countries, suggested a subamendment to add "as appropriate" at the end of the text. The Government member of Uruguay supported the subamendment.

281. The Government member of Italy opposed the subamendment, but supported the amendment by the Worker members. The Worker and Employer members opposed the subamendment because they did not believe that "as appropriate" should refer to consultations with employers' and workers' organizations. As had been done earlier in point 14, the Government member of the Netherlands proposed to put "as appropriate" before "other concerned groups" and to put the amendment at the end of the point, so that the point would read: "Members should establish or designate appropriate national mechanisms to monitor the application of national provisions aimed at the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour, after consultation with employers' and workers' organizations and, as appropriate, other concerned groups". The subamendment was adopted and the amendment as subamended was adopted.

282. Point 19 was adopted as amended.

Point 20

283. An amendment by the Worker members to replace "immediate suppression" with "prohibition and immediate elimination" was referred to the Drafting Committee. Point 20 was adopted as amended.

New point after point 20

284. The Government member of the Republic of Korea submitted an amendment, supported by the Government members of Austria and Italy, to add a new point after point 20 that proposed the following text: "Each Member should determine the persons who should comply with the provisions of national laws or regulations". The Government member of the Republic of Korea said there was a need for such specificity and it was similar to the provision in Article 9(2) of Convention No. 138. The Employer and Worker members supported the amendment and the amendment was adopted. The Drafting Committee would consider changing "Each Member", to "Members" to be consistent with the formulations in the Recommendation.

285. A new point after point 20 was adopted.

Point 21

286. An amendment by the Worker members would be referred to the Drafting Commitee and incorporated to replace "immediate suppression" with "prohibition and immediate elimination".

Clauses (a) and (b)

287. Clause (a) was adopted without change and clause (b) was adopted without change, except to align it with a previous change of "engagement" to "procuring".

Clause (c)

288. The Worker members submitted an amendment to add at the end of the clause: "and public disclosure of the identity of violators of this Convention". The Employer members, along with the Government members of Canada, the Netherlands, and Spain, opposed the amendment. It could give rise to various legal problems concerning privacy laws and administrative sanctions, although the Government member of the Netherlands thought that the chapeau in point 21, stating that "in so far as it is compatible with national legislation", took care of privacy law concerns. The Government member of India stated that it should be examined more closely before the discussions in 1999. The Government member of Canada indicated that, in addition to this clause, other parts of the Recommendation required further review by her Government from the perspective of legal consistencies and that they would wish to raise them at the second discussion. The Worker members withdrew the amendment, but signalled it as a serious issue to be considered before the second discussion.

289. Point 21 was adopted as amended.

Point 22

290. The Government members of Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey submitted an amendment to add the words "worst forms of child labour" so that the beginning of the point would state that Members should provide that the following "worst forms of child labour" were criminal offences, to be clear about what was to follow. Both the Employer and Worker members supported the amendment and it was adopted.

Clause (a)

291. Clause (a) was adopted without change.

Clause (b) and new clause after clause (b)

292. The Government members of Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey submitted an amendment to conform this provision with what had been adopted in point 9 by revising clause (b) to substitute "procuring" for "engagement" and adding a clause (c) on illegal activities, as follows:

Both Employer and Worker members supported the amendment and it was adopted.

New clause after clause (b)

293. The Government members of Spain and Turkey submitted an amendment to add a new clause as follows: "(c) the sexual, physical or emotional abuse of child workers." The Government member of Spain pointed to the need to reach and prosecute employers who abused child workers, particularly in hidden work, such as domestic work. The Government members of Italy, Uruguay and Venezuela supported the amendment. It was not the type of work but the consequences of certain work and the risks of abuse from violent employers that would be covered by this amendment.

294. The Worker and Employer members and the Government members of the Netherlands and Canada opposed the amendment. First, there was concern that this was not consistent with the definition in the Convention; second, care was called for concerning the definition of criminal offences; and third, the provisions of the Convention should cover this situation. Following an indicative show of hands, the amendment was withdrawn.

295. Point 22 was adopted as amended.

Point 23

296. The Government members of Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey submitted an amendment to delete point 23. The Government member of Canada explained that point 11(1) of the Convention already adequately covered the concerns expressed in point 23 and that repeating them in the Recommendation was not necessary. The Employer members, wishing to amend this Point, opposed its deletion, as did the Government member of Italy. The Worker members also opposed the amendment. The argument that had been given to support it seemed inconsistent with the position stated earlier by some of the same Government members that the Recommendation should be able to stand on its own. Following an indicative show of hands, the amendment was withdrawn.

297. The Employer members submitted an amendment to delete "criminal penalties" in favour of "appropriate penalties", which they considered to be broader and more appropriate. The Worker members could agree with the concept of "appropriate", if placed properly in the text. They proposed a subamendment as follows: "Members should ensure that penalties including, where appropriate, criminal penalties are applied for violations of the national provisions aimed at the immediate suppression(3)  of any type of work or activity referred to in point 9(c) above". Reference to the word "repeated" had been deleted in the subamendment because the Worker members considered that it was up to national provisions to determine whether, and which, penalties should be applied after repeated offences. Depending on the nature of the offence, there could be administrative fines, suggestions to violators for improvement, and so forth. The Employer members and the Government members of Canada, Cyprus, Netherlands, Norway and Uruguay supported the subamendment. The subamendment was adopted and the amendment as subamended was adopted.

298. Point 23 was adopted as amended.

Point 24

299. The Employer members submitted amendments to delete the entire point after the words "child labour" in the first part, thus deleting clauses (a) and (b). They wished to delete the list to provide more flexibility. The problem with clause (a) was that compensation could be misused and not reach the children concerned, or, not be used on their behalf. Clause (b) was problematic and too restrictive. The Government members of Japan, the Republic of Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand and United Kingdom supported the amendment. The Worker members opposed the amendment, pointing out that a purpose of a Recommendation was precisely to give examples of effective measures that could be taken. The suggestions in clause (b) could be entirely appropriate in cases where the lives of children were lost or young children were found in brothels, for example. The Government members of Cyprus and Italy also opposed the amendment. Following an indicative show of hands, the Worker members withdrew their objection to the amendment, but with the understanding that they would try to sensitize members on the issue and return to it in the second discussion. The amendment was adopted, thus clauses (a) and (b) were deleted.

300. Point 24 was adopted as amended

Point 25

301. The Employer members withdrew an amendment to add "if appropriate", since the sentence was already formulated with "could include".

302. The Government member of Italy submitted an amendment to delete the word "could" and insert after the word "include" the words "in particular", so that other measures were to include, in particular, those listed in the subsequent clauses. She argued that this would give greater force to the text and emphasize the need for States to take action. The amendment was supported by the Government member of Spain. The Employer members opposed the amendment, as did the Worker members, who thought the drafting was not clear for the stated purpose. The Government member of Italy withdrew the amendment.

303. The Worker members submitted an amendment to replace "immediate suppression" with "prohibition and immediate elimination" to conform with the terminology already adopted in the Convention. These changes would be automatically incorporated into the text and referred to the Drafting Committee.

Clause (a)

304. The Government members of Australia, Japan and Turkey submitted an amendment to delete clause (a). The Government member of Japan introduced the amendment arguing that because of the status of elected officials and independent members of the judiciary, it was inappropriate to target them for sensitization. The Employer Vice-Chairperson's initial reaction was that the more people who were informed about the nature of the problem, the more sensitive they would be to it. The Worker members also opposed the amendment believing that these were important groups who could take positive action if they were well informed. Judges, who had interpretative authority, grounded their decisions in societal norms, as did legislators when revising legislation. The Government member of Spain supported the amendment because there could be constitutional problems if judges were singled out, for example, because of their duty to apply criminal law to the same degree to all. The Government member of Pakistan felt that the public as a whole should be sensitized about the worst forms of child labour, not just these groups.

305. The Government member of the Netherlands proposed that instead of the amendment to delete the Point, the Committee could consider an amendment submitted by the Employer members to insert the words "the general public, including" after the word "sensitizing", to accommodate the opinions expressed by the Government member of Pakistan and other Government members. Both the Employer and Worker members supported the proposal so that the text would read as follows: "(a) informing and sensitizing the general public, including national and local political leaders, parliamentarians and the judiciary;". The Government member of Japan said that the provision should end at "general public", as did the Government member of Australia who insisted that there were specific constitutional reasons for not specifying these groups, which nonetheless could be targeted under the "general public" language at the national level. After an indicative show of hands, the amendment by the Employer members was adopted, and the amendment to delete the clause was withdrawn. Clause (a) was thus adopted as amended.

Clause (b)

306. Clause (b) was adopted without change.

Clause (c)

307. The Worker members submitted an amendment to provide that appropriate training would also be provided "for other relevant professionals", because training should not be limited to inspectors and law enforcement officials. There were other important professionals such as teachers, psychologists and health workers, who should receive the training required to deal with the special problems of the children concerned. The Government member of Sudan opposed it because the training would have to be at the appropriate technical and professional level for all, which would be an extensive obligation. The Employer members and the majority of Government members, including those of Austria, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and United Kingdom supported the amendment. The amendment was adopted.

308. Clause (c) was adopted as amended.

New clauses after clause (c)

309. The Worker members withdrew an amendment to add a new clause after clause (c) as follows: "assist in the development of systems for effective monitoring of school attendance and checking irregular attendance and drop-outs;". They also withdrew an amendment to add another new clause as follows: "promote training programmes for teachers to support them in the provision of relevant, quality curriculum to meet the needs of children at risk of, or involved in, the worst forms of child labour;".

Clause (d)

310. The Government members of Denmark, Japan, Spain, Turkey and United Kingdom submitted an amendment to delete this point because it dealt with a very complex issue concerning criminal prosecutions and extra-territoriality. The Government member of Portugal supported the amendment. The Employer members understood that there were complications concerning extra-territorial laws and enforcement procedures, but they opposed the amendment because there seemed to be sufficient flexibility in the first part of the point where it stated that measures "could include the following". The Worker members and the Government members of Egypt, Italy, Pakistan and Sudan also opposed the amendment. The Government member of Pakistan said that the issue fell squarely within the discussions that had been held during the 1996 Stockholm World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and was particularly relevant for child prostitution. The Worker members argued that international law would cover the fine legal points that had been raised.

311. The Government member of the United Kingdom explained that he supported the amendment to delete the clause, because although the United Kingdom did arrest and prosecute its nationals who committed crimes in other countries, the Office text could be interpreted to require them to prosecute non-British nationals. The Worker members, supported by the Employer members, proposed a subamendment to replace "those" with "their nationals" in clause (d). The Government member of the United Kingdom said that he could not support the provision at this stage, but would be ready to reconsider it in the second discussion. The Government member of Spain said there needed to be a clear indication of who could be the subject of prosecution, because countries differed about what constituted hazardous work and what would be considered offences. After an indicative show of hands, "their nationals" was inserted in the text of clause (d) to replace "those". Clause (d) was adopted as amended to read as follows: "(d) providing for the prosecution in their own country of their nationals who commit offences under national provisions aimed at the suppression of extreme forms(4)  of child labour even when these offences are committed in a country other than their own;".

312. The Worker members withdrew an amendment to insert at the beginning of the clause "developing international cooperation for the prosecution of offences under this Convention and".

Clause (e)

313. The Government members of Australia, Austria and Japan submitted an amendment to replace the word "simplifying" before "legal and administrative procedures" with the wording "having appropriate and prompt". The Government member of Japan explained that appropriate procedures were as important as simple procedures. The Worker Vice-Chairperson suggested that the amendment introduced a new issue, while clause (e) of the Office text aimed at making legal language and procedures more easily understandable and accessible to the wider public, especially the victims of the worst forms of child labour. The view was widely shared by the Worker and Employer members and most Government members that both issues should be covered. A subamendment proposed by the Government member of Italy, and supported by the Government member of Belgium, to add at the end "and providing for more severe penal sanctions in case of repeated violations" was not accepted by the Committee. Clause (e) was adopted without change and the amendment was adopted as a new clause following clause (e).

Clause (f)

314. An amendment submitted by the Worker members to provide that publicity also be given to "best practices" in addition to legal or other provisions on child labour in the different languages or dialects, was supported by the Employer members and a majority of Government members. Clause (f) was thus adopted as amended.

Clause (g)

315. The Government members of Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden introduced an amendment to add after the word "procedures" the following text: "that could be initiated by, inter alia, the employers' and workers' organizations, other concerned groups and representatives of the affected children". The Worker and Employer members as well as the Government members of Sudan and Egypt opposed the amendment, which was withdrawn. The Government member of the Netherlands reiterated that they would return to the issue of the involvement of other groups in various parts of the instruments in the second discussion.

316. An amendment submitted by the Worker members to include in this clause "provisions to protect from discrimination and reprisals those who legitimately expose violations of the provisions of the Convention" was supported by the Employer members and a majority of Government members including those of Italy, Pakistan and Spain. The amendment was adopted and clause (g) was adopted as amended.

New clause after clause (g)

317. The Worker members withdrew an amendment to add a new clause to provide: "further measures should include government procurement policies which provide incentives for the application of the provisions of this Convention."

318. Before adopting point 25, the Government member of Uruguay suggested that clause (e) and the new clause (f) were too repetitive. This was referred to the Drafting Committee.

319. Point 25 was adopted as amended.

New point after point 25

320. The Government members of Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal and United States withdrew an amendment to put the text of point 12 in the Recommendation because it had been retained in the Convention.

Point 26

321. The Government members of France, Italy and Switzerland proposed to amend the text by replacing "could" with "should", arguing that it would strengthen the text. An indicative vote showed a majority of Government members in favour of the amendment, which was also supported by the Worker and Employer members. The amendment was thus adopted and the first part of point 26 read as follows: "International cooperation or assistance among Members for the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour should include:".

Clause (a)

322. Clause (a) was adopted without change.

Clause (b)

323. The Employer members and the Government members of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Turkey and United Kingdom submitted identical amendments to replace the word "judicial" with "mutual legal". As had been stated earlier, this was needed to include all legal authorities, such as the police, in common law countries. Clause (b) was adopted as amended.

Clause (c)

324. Clause (c) was adopted without change.

New clauses after clause (c)

325. The Worker members withdrew an amendment to add a new clause as follows: "(d) securing the cooperation of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and other relevant international institutions in order that their programmes and projects are consistent with this Convention.".

326. The Worker members submitted an amendment to add the following as a new clause: "(d) measures for the immediate repatriation of child workers where appropriate". The Employer members thought that the provisions on rehabilitation and reintegration might cover the situation, but indicated support if "immediate" were deleted. Several Government members, including the Government members of the Netherlands, Norway and Spain, opposed the amendment, suggesting that it could also lead to forced expulsion of child workers. The Worker members withdrew the amendment as it might do harm where none was intended, but the issue should be reconsidered in the second discussion.

327. Point 26 was adopted as amended.

328. The Government member of Pakistan reminded the Committee that there had been an intent to come back to the subject of a previous amendment by the Government members of India and Pakistan, which reiterated the responsibility of the international community to support -- including through technical assistance and financial support -- efforts by countries aimed at eradicating the worst forms of child labour, in a spirit of international solidarity and burden-sharing, and to create conditions for sustained economic growth and development and equitable distribution of benefits to all nations. In her view, this principle should be included in the questionnaire to be circulated for comments and a summary of the responses should be included in the next report to be submitted before the Committee so that it could form a basis for further consultations at the second discussion.

Adoption of the report, Proposed Conclusions and a resolution

329. At its 18th session, the Committee adopted its report, subject to changes requested by various members, as well as the Proposed Conclusions as presented at the end of the report. The Committee also adopted a resolution to place on the agenda of the next ordinary session of the Conference an item entitled "Child labour" for a second discussion regarding the proposed adoption of a Convention and a Recommendation.

330. Before the adoption of the report, the Reporter informed the Committee that, according to its mandate, the Drafting Committee had considered drafting questions which had been raised by the Committee and had dealt with other purely linguistic and stylistic issues in the Proposed Conclusions that did not affect their substance. She highlighted a few of the changes that had been made. The Drafting Committee had agreed to reverse the order of Points 8 and 9 so that the first point of the Convention set out what the Convention was about: the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour, which was followed by the definitions of "child" and "the worst forms of child labour". The Reporter drew attention to the French translation of "monitor" in Points 12 and 22 which was changed to "surveiller", because the Drafting Committee felt it better captured the meaning of the English text. The French text in Points 14(2)(c) and 17(d) had also been modified in an attempt to make it more consistent with the English words "reach out". She pointed out that the text of both versions might be reviewed by the Office. The Reporter also noted the difference of opinion in the Drafting Committee about the French translation of "hidden work situations", which was found in point 17(c)(ii). The French translation was not changed because the Drafting Committee could not agree to a better formulation. The clauses in point 17 had been re-ordered, placing the three references to special situations together in clause (c). It was decided to translate "status in employment" in point 19 as "statut professionnel", instead of "situation dans la profession", with the clear understanding that it did not change the meaning, but was a better reflection of what was meant. It was also suggested that the Office might review Points 4 and 11, for clarity.

331. The Government member of the Netherlands, and the Government member of Cuba concerning the Spanish text, questioned why "Each Member which ratifies the Convention" had not been repeated each time in the Points of the Convention. The Reporter explained that the Drafting Committee had followed the advice of the Legal Adviser that "Each Member which ratifies the Convention" need only be put in the first mention of "Members", and thereafter could be "Each Member", which, of course, meant Members which ratified the Convention. However, in Point 14(1) "Each Member which ratifies the Convention" had been maintained because the paragraph referred to "its effective implementation"; "its" meaning the Convention. However, the Office could consider redrafting the paragraph. "Members" was in point 15 because it referred to assisting "one another". The Government member of Turkey asked that the Legal Adviser reconsider its opinion that the language in point 16 was appropriate for the Recommendation.

332. The Employer Vice-Chairperson expressed the satisfaction of the Employer members with the high quality of debate and the progress that had been made. He recalled the impact that had been made by the children of the Global March against Child Labour when they entered the Plenary hall at the opening of the Conference and the heart rendering video images of working children that had been presented by the Secretariat. These had focused the Committee's work and placed on it great expectations. He stated that the Office text had been well researched, well drafted, and had incorporated competing positions and interests, thus facilitating the constructive and well-informed debate. The Employer members reiterated the views that they would bring to the second discussion. The instruments should be concise, simple, focused and realistic; and be easily understood, accepted and widely supported. To have credibility, the Convention must be ratified by as many members as possible, and be applicable in both developing and developed countries.

333. The Employer members emphasized that child labour was not to be confused with the worst, extreme, or most intolerable forms of child labour, which should be halted immediately. This meant preventing children from being bought for or killed or maimed in work that they should not have been doing. The efforts of the Committee would fail if even one country did not ratify the Convention. For the second discussion, they believed that the Preamble was too long and difficult for ordinary people to understand; developing countries needed to examine the practical, legal, and economic implications of the definition of "child" and the reference to "access to free basic education" in Point 14; and the references to "time-bound" needed to be examined so that they could not result in anything less than immediate action. Finally, the second discussion would provide the opportunity to overcome some of the potential hurdles to achieving universal ratification.

334. The Worker Vice-Chairperson said that part of the work towards the adoption of the new Convention had been completed, yet concrete action against the worst forms of child labour had to be started now to bring justice to the children for whom the Committee was speaking. All parties concerned, governments, employers' and workers' organizations, as well as non-governmental organizations, would have to become more involved and strengthen their efforts. The Worker members signalled a number of issues for the second discussion, including action against poverty and the need to increase technical cooperation and to respond to the pleas from some Governments for international assistance. The Office might chart United Nations and other international instruments which spoke to the need for free compulsory education and other relevant issues and review several Points for clarity such as Points 3 and 4, point 19, and the reference to "civic" organizations in Point 29(b). Finally, the new instruments were to be a means toward ending child labour wherever it existed, beginning with the worst forms. Plans of action, developed through a tripartite process, were needed.

335. The Government member of India said that while he had been disappointed with the outcome of the Committee's discussion, he was pleased to hear the reference made by the Employer members to the definition of "child" and by the Worker members to the problems of poverty. He objected to the reference to "immediate elimination" of the worst forms of child labour in the Proposed Conclusions which was not feasible. Immediate measures or action, however, could be taken. The second discussion should be an inclusive process and result in an instrument that could be ratified by all member States.

336. The report of the Committee, the Proposed Conclusions and the resolution to place on the agenda of the next ordinary session of the Conference an item entitled "Child labour" are submitted for consideration.

Geneva, 16 June 1998.

(Signed) A. Atsain,
Chairperson.

H. Melkas,
Reporter.


PROPOSED CONCLUSIONS

A. Form of the instruments

1. The International Labour Conference should adopt new standards on the worst forms of child labour.

2. These standards should take the form of a Convention supplemented by a Recommendation.

B. Proposed Conclusions with a view to a Convention
and a Recommendation

Preamble

3. The Preamble should note that new instruments should be adopted for the prohibition and for immediate and comprehensive action for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour as the main priority for national and international action and that these instruments should complement the Convention and Recommendation concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, 1973, which remain the fundamental instruments for the abolition of child labour.

4. The Preamble should state that the effective elimination of the worst forms of child labour requires comprehensive action, taking into account the importance of basic education and the need for the removal from work and the rehabilitation and social reintegration of the children concerned.

5. The Preamble should recall the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 November 1989, the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, 1995 and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995.

6. The Preamble should recall that some of the worst forms of child labour are covered by other international instruments, in particular the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, and the United Nations Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery, 1956.

7. The Preamble should recall relevant provisions contained in the Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 and the Human Resources Development Convention and Recommendation, 1975 as well as the Declaration on Equality of Opportunity and Treatment for Women Workers, adopted by the International Labour Conference in 1975.

C. Proposed Conclusions with a view to a Convention

Content of the proposed Convention

8. Each Member which ratifies the Convention should take measures to secure the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour.

9. For the purposes of the Convention, the term "child" should apply to all persons under the age of 18.

10. For the purposes of the Convention, the expression "the worst forms of child labour" should comprise:

(a) all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, forced or compulsory labour, debt bondage and serfdom;

(b) the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances;

(c) the use, procuring or offering of a child for illegal activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties;

(d) any other type of work or activity which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to jeopardize the health, safety or morals of children.

11. (1) National laws or regulations or the competent authority should, after consultation with the organizations of employers and workers concerned, determine the types of work or activity referred to under point 10(d) and identify their existence, taking into account relevant international standards.

(2) The types of work or activity determined under paragraph (1) of this point should be periodically examined and revised as necessary by the competent authority after consulting the organizations of employers and workers concerned.

12. Each Member should establish or designate appropriate mechanisms to monitor the application of provisions aimed at the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour.

13. (1) Each Member should design and implement programmes of action to eliminate as a priority the worst forms of child labour.

(2) Such programmes of action should be designed and implemented in consultation with relevant government institutions and employers' and workers' organizations.

14. (1) Each Member which ratifies the Convention should take all necessary measures to ensure its effective implementation and enforcement including the provision and application of penal and other sanctions, as appropriate.

(2) Each Member should, taking into account the importance of education in eliminating child labour, take effective and time-bound measures to:

(a) prevent children from engaging in the worst forms of child labour;

(b) provide the necessary and appropriate direct assistance for their removal from work, rehabilitation and social reintegration through, inter alia, access to free basic education; and

(c) identify and reach out to children at special risk and take account of the special situation of girls.

(3) Each Member should designate the competent authority responsible for the implementation of the provisions giving effect to the Convention.

15. Members should take steps, as appropriate, to assist one another in giving effect to the provisions of the Convention through international cooperation or assistance.

D. Proposed Conclusions with a view to a Recommendation

General

16. The provisions of the Recommendation should supplement and be applied in conjunction with those of the Convention.

Programmes of Action

17. The programmes of action referred to in point 13 above should be designed and implemented in consultation with relevant government institutions, employers' and workers' organizations and, as appropriate, other concerned groups. They should aim at, inter alia:

(a) identifying and denouncing the worst forms of child labour;

(b) preventing children from engaging in or removing them from the worst forms of child labour; protecting them from reprisals; providing for their rehabilitation and social reintegration through measures which address their educational, physical, emotional and psychological needs;

(c) giving special attention to:

(d) identifying and reaching out to communities where children are at special risk;

(e) informing, sensitizing and mobilizing public opinion and interested groups, including children and their parents.

Hazardous Work

18. In determining the types of work or activity referred to under point 10(d) above, and in identifying their existence, consideration should be given, as a minimum, to:

(a) work and activities which expose children to physical, emotional or sexual abuse;

(b) work underground, under water, or at dangerous heights;

(c) work with dangerous machinery, equipment and tools, or which involves the manual handling or transport of heavy loads;

(d) work in an unhealthy environment which may, for example, expose children to hazardous substances, agents or processes, or to temperatures, noise levels, or vibrations damaging to their health;

(e) work under particularly difficult conditions such as for long hours, during the night, or without the possibility of returning home each day.

Implementation

19. Detailed information and statistical data on the nature and extent of child labour, including, as far as possible and with due regard for the right to privacy, data disaggregated by sex, age group, occupation, branch of economic activity and status in employment, should be compiled and kept up to date to serve as a basis for determining priorities for national action for the abolition of child labour, in particular for the prohibition and immediate elimination of its worst forms.

20. Members should compile and update relevant data concerning violations of national provisions aimed at the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour.

21. The information compiled under Points 19 and 20 should be communicated to the International Labour Office.

22. Members should establish or designate appropriate national mechanisms to monitor the application of national provisions aimed at the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour after consulting with employers' and workers' organizations and, as appropriate, other concerned groups.

23. Members should ensure that the competent authorities which have responsibilities for implementing provisions aimed at the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour cooperate and coordinate their activities.

24. Members should determine the persons who should comply with the provisions of national laws or regulations.

25. Members should, in so far as it is compatible with national law, cooperate with international efforts aimed at the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour by:

(a) gathering and exchanging information concerning criminal offences, including those involving international networks;

(b) detecting and prosecuting those involved in the sale and trafficking of children, the use, procuring or offering of children for illegal activities, for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances;

(c) registering perpetrators of such offences.

26. Members should provide that the following worst forms of child labour are criminal offences:

(a) all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, forced or compulsory labour, debt bondage and serfdom;

(b) the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances; and

(c) the use, procuring or offering of a child for illegal activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties.

27. Members should ensure that penalties including, where appropriate, criminal penalties are applied for violations of the national provisions aimed at the prohibition and immediate elimination of any type of work or activity referred to in point 10(d) above.

28. Members should also provide for other remedies, where appropriate, to ensure the effective enforcement of national provisions aimed at the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour.

29. Other measures aimed at the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour might include the following:

(a) informing and sensitizing the general public, including national and local political leaders, parliamentarians and the judiciary;

(b) involving and training employers' and workers' organizations and civic organizations;

(c) providing appropriate training for concerned government officials, especially inspectors and law enforcement officials, and for other relevant professionals;

(d) providing for the prosecution in their own country of the Members' nationals who commit offences under national provisions aimed at the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour even when these offences are committed in another country;

(e) simplifying legal and administrative procedures and ensuring that they are appropriate and prompt;

(f) giving publicity to best practices and to legal or other provisions on child labour in the different languages or dialects;

(g) establishing special complaints procedures, provisions to protect from discrimination and reprisals those who legitimately expose violations of the provisions of the Convention, as well as help lines and ombudspersons.

30. International cooperation or assistance among Members for the prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms of child labour should include:

(a) mobilizing resources for national or international programmes;

(b) mutual legal assistance;

(c) technical assistance including the exchange of information.


Resolution to place on the agenda of the next
ordinary session of the Conference an item entitled
"Child labour"

The General Conference of the International Labour Organization,

Having adopted the report of the Committee appointed to consider the sixth item on the agenda;

Having in particular approved as general conclusions, with a view to the consultation of Governments, proposals for a Convention and a Recommendation concerning child labour;

Decides that an item entitled "Child labour" shall be included in the agenda of its next ordinary session for a second discussion regarding the proposed adoption of a Convention and a Recommendation.


1.  The modifications were as follows:

2.  This had been "extreme" but became "the worst" as a consequence of the adoption of an amendment to point 1. These references were changed throughout the text.

3.  For purposes of consistency, "immediate suppression" was replaced by "prohibition and immediate elimination".

4.  For purposes of consistency "suppression of extreme forms" was replaced by "prohibition and immediate elimination of the worst forms".


Updated by VC. Approved by RH. Last update: 26 January 2000.