The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), ratified by almost all countries in the world, includes explicit provisions against economic exploitation of children. Article 32 of the UNCRC prohibits child labor that interferes with a child’s education and is hazardous or harmful to a child’s development. The Article requires that state parties set a minimum age for employment, define hours and conditions for acceptable employment of youth and create enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance by all relevant actors. Ending child labor is included among the goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
On this day, the World Day against Child Labour, we call on all governments, and particularly of those in our region (South East Europe and South Caucasus), to review their policies and practices in order to eliminate child labour through strong prevention mechanisms, and ensure that adequate rehabilitation services are in place to provide all the support needed by children whose rights have been violated.
Child labor is defined as work that is hazardous to a child’s health, education, or physical or mental development. Child labor spans various sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, quarrying and mining, and domestic service. Too often, it traps children in a cycle of poverty. Too many children in the world still work instead of going to school.
In spite of clear commitments by all governments of the wider Black Sea region to implement in full the UNCRC, including in relation to child labor, actions to prevent and end child labor and economic exploitation remain limited. In order to measure the compliance of governments with the provisions of the UNCRC, World Vision and ChildPact have created a Child Protection Index (CPI).
Full statement (225 KB, Docx)