ILO Conventions on child labour

  • IASbaba
  • August 15, 2020
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ILO Conventions on child labour

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Social/Child issue; International Organizations and Conventions


All 187 countries that are members of the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) have now ratified a convention No. 182 to protect children from the worst forms of child labour, including slavery, prostitution and trafficking. The Pacific island nation Tonga became the final country to ratify the treaty.

The two ILO Conventions on child labour are Convention No.138 on Minimum Age and Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour.

  • The aim of ILO Convention No.138 on the minimum age is the effective abolition of child labour by requiring countries to: 1) establish a minimum age for entry into work or employment; and 2) establish national policies for the elimination of child labour.
  • The Recommendation No. 146 which accompanies Convention No. 138, stresses that national policies and plans should provide for: poverty alleviation and the promotion of decent jobs for adults, so that parents do not need to resort to child labour; free and compulsory education and provision of vocational training; extension of social security and systems for birth registration; and appropriate facilities for the protection of children, and adolescents who work.
  • Convention No. 182 requires countries to take ratifying countries to take immediate, effective and time-bound measures to eliminate the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency.
  • The Recommendation No. 190 , which accompanies Convention No. 182, recommends that any definition of “hazardous work” should include: work which exposes children to physical, psychological or sexual abuse; work underground, underwater, at dangerous heights or in confined spaces; work with dangerous machinery, equipment and tools or carrying heavy loads; exposure to hazardous substances, agents or processes, or to temperatures, noise levels or vibrations damaging to health; work for long hours, night work, and unreasonable confinement to the premises of the employer.

These Conventions have been ratified by India

  • Core Conventions of the ILO: – The eight Core Conventions of the ILO (also called fundamental/human rights conventions) are:
  • Forced Labour Convention (No. 29)
  • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No.105)
  • Equal Remuneration Convention (No.100)
  • Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (No.111)
  • Minimum Age Convention (No.138)
  • Worst forms of Child Labour Convention (No.182)

These Conventions have not been ratified by India

  • Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organised Convention (No.87)
  • Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention (No.98)

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