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ILO sees marked decline in child labor globally

The International Labor Organization has pointed to continued use of child labor. However, in its latest study on the issue, the ILO notes that the overall number of affected boys and girls has gone down significantly.

According to estimates by the International Labor Organization (ILO), there are still about 168 million child laborers across the globe.

In a fresh report released Monday, the watchdog reported that 11 percent of children aged between 5 and 17 years were subjected to labor and added that half of them had to work under conditions jeopardizing their health and security.

Many boys and girls were reported to be forced to work at dangerous machines, do night shifts and exposed to sexual exploitation.

Regional differences

ILO, which issues a new report on the topic every four years, reported that child labor had been on the decline globally in the past couple of years. According to the organization, the total number of children made to labor has gone down about 78 million from the levels recorded in 2000.

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The organization noted that more and more nations had been enforcing legislation with a view to improving children's safety during work, setting a minimum age for labor or prohibiting the most perilous kinds of work for the boys and girls.

ILO conceded that despite the rapid decline in recent years, there was no way now of living up to its original objective of doing away with the most dangerous kinds of child labor completely by 2016.

The organization pointed out that nominally most child laborers were in Asia and the Pacific region, but, by percentage, sub-Saharan Africa was home to the highest number, with one in five children having to work in mostly adverse conditions.

hg/mkg (dpa, Reuters)

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