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Over 160 million children at risk or enslaved in forced labor: ILO

12 June 2016 12:30

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More than 160 million children across the globe remain at risk of or entrapped in forced labor despite a declining trend, the International Labor Organization (ILO) says.

The announcement came ahead of the World Day against Child Labor that is marked on Sunday. ILO added that child labor around the world has declined by nearly one-third in the past decade, Reuters reported on Saturday.

The high number of child labor has been attributed to surging crises and conflicts around the world.

According to the organization, the reduced rate of child labor in the past decade is due to international standards now in place, and that currently employers and businesses are generally expected to eliminate child labor from their supply chains.


File photo of Nepali kids working in a brick factory

“From enterprises, we need a clear message of zero tolerance of child labor; they need to know what is happening in their supply chains and to back that up with action in their business practices and dealings with suppliers,” said ILO’s Director General Guy Rider.

The report added that the ILO and the International Organization of Employers (IOE) have created the child labor guidance tool so that businesses would boost their knowledge and ability to perform in line with international labor standards regarding child labor.

Despite the declining trend, Asia and the Pacific continue to report the largest number of child labor. Sub-Saharan Africa, however, still have the highest incidence of child labor, the report stated. ILO figures further show that agriculture remains by far the most significant sector in which child laborers can be found.

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