EUROPE/ITALY- Over 215 million child workers worldwide, half are exploited and used in risky situations

Monday, 11 June 2012

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - There are approximately 215 million child workers worldwide, of whom 115 million are subjected and exploited in hazardous work without any security. This is what emerges from the report just presented by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN agency in charge of promoting the work, security and human dignity for all, on the occasion of World Day Against Child Labour that, since 2002, is celebrated every year on June 12. In about 60 countries around the world hundreds of events to celebrate this Day have been organized. The phenomenon is particularly serious in Asia and the Pacific regions, where there are 113.6 million working children, and in Africa, where they are at least another 65 million, but this situation not only concerns less industrialized countries but also all the others. In Italy, for example, 500 000 children belonging to poor households, are forced to work. In Latin America, there are 5 to 14 million. Among the 72 million children worldwide not attending school, more than 1.2 million are Colombian and half work on the streets. Selling of minors, forms of abuse, forced labor, sexual slavery, child soldiers, or used in drug trafficking, are just some of the worst forms of exploitation of hundreds of thousands of children who are deprived of any form of education and health, as well as their dignity. The statistics of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO IPEC), are based on data collected in 34 countries around the world. The objective of the United Nations is to promote access to schools to break the cycle of child poverty and eradicate the worst forms by 2016. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 11/6/2012)