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Cabinet approves ratification of 2 ILO conventions on prohibiting child labour

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for ratification of two fundamental conventions of International Labour Organization (ILO) concerning with Child Labour.

They are Minimum Age Convention (No 138) and Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No 182). Now these conventions will be legally binding.

Key Facts
  • Minimum Age Convention (No 138) or Convention 138: It is concerned with minimum age for admission to employment. So far, it has been ratified by 169 countries.
  • Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No 182) or Convention 182: It is concerned with the prohibition and immediate action for elimination of the worst forms of Child Labour. It has been ratified by 180 countries.
Background

The Government has adopted multipronged strategy including both project based approach and stringent legislative measures to address the concerns related to child labour in the country. However, there is a need to further ensure a safe and fulfilled future for the children by ensuring proper implementation of provisions of Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 which completely prohibits children employment below 14 years in any occupation or process. Recent initiatives taken by Government to eradicate child labour also needs to be maintained for elimination of child labour for attainment of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Comment
  • The ratification of these conventions will be step ahead in direction of achieving goal of eradication of child labour from country as it would be legally binding to comply with the provisions of the Conventions.
  • By ratifying these conventions, India will also join majority of the countries who have adopted the legislation to prohibit and place severe restrictions on the employment and work of children.

About International Labour Organisation (ILO)

  • The ILO is a United Nations agency dealing with labour issues, particularly international labour standards, social protection, and work opportunities for all.
  • It was established in 1919 as an agency of the League of Nations and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. India is a founder member of the ILO. At present, it has 187 members.
  • The principal means of action in the ILO is the setting up of International standards in the form of Conventions, Recommendations and Protocol.
  • So far India has ratified 45 Conventions, out of which 42 are in force. Out of these 4 are Core or Fundamental or Conventions.

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