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International Day against Child Labour

Various Photographers


Child labour and labour abuse against minors is an ongoing problem in Asia Pacific, as it is in other parts of the world. Each year the International Labour Organization marks the International Day against Child Labour on 12 June to highlight any labour abuse of minors.

Across the world, the ILO calculate 168 million children are involved in child labour and 45 percent of these are found in the Asia-Pacific region. The ILO, with a focus in 2016 on children involved in supply chains, say that from agriculture to manufacturing, services to construction, supply chains run the risk that child labour may be more present.

Child labour occurs largely in the rural and informal economy, according to the ILO, in areas where trade unions and employers’ organizations are often weak or absent and in areas that may be beyond the capacity of labour inspectors to reach. This also holds true for child labour in supply chains, where the work may be done in small workshops or homes, and often goes undetected by firms at the top of the chain. Inadequate education systems heighten the risks, and governments must step up their efforts to tackle the problem.

The employment ages vary across the Asia Pacific region, but even part time family work should not prevent children from attending school. The ILO also affirms that no child should be employed in any high-risk work that often carries long hours, danger and lack of supervision.