The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), whose mission is the promotion of decent work for women and men. It does so by adopting international labour standards and supporting member states to ratify and implement these in law and practice.
To this end, the ILO is implementing the Asia Regional Child Labour (ARC) Programme, with the financial support of United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. The programme contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7. The ARC Project also aims to reduce vulnerability and eradicate and abolish the worst forms of child labour and exploitation and enhance child protection through the following outcomes/objectives:
Building a credible knowledge base on the causes and drivers of child labour and effective interventions to address them;
Aligning legislation and policies with international conventions on child labour, and trafficking in persons and enforcing and implementing;
Developing and applying a holistic approach to eradicating child labour, particularly its worst forms, in selected regions of each country;
Child labour is a serious rights violation and a barrier to national development. Evidence underscores that the conditions faced by children in the workplace can seriously jeopardize their immediate health and safety, as well as their health status later in life. This is particularly the case for the large number of children in hazardous work. Child labour is also associated with greater difficulties in entering and remaining in school and learning effectively in the classroom. The educational and developmental toll associated with child labour, in turn, makes it much less likely that children are able to successfully transition to gainful employment upon entering adulthood.
These adverse consequences of child labour not only constitute serious violations of the rights of the children concerned, but also have broader consequences for national development. Children who grow up compromised educationally and developmentally by early involvement in work will be in a poor position to contribute to their country’s growth as adults. Development goals set by the international community such as poverty alleviation, Universal Primary Enrolment (UPI), Education for All (EFA), and Decent Work cannot be achieved without eliminating child labour.
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