Ref. :  000018686
Date :  2005-06-09
Language :  English
Home Page / The whole website
fr / es / de / po / en

ILO urges ban on child labour in small-scale mines and quarries

Initiative is part of World Day Against Child Labour activities to be held worldwide

Author :  OIT / ILO


GENEVA (ILO news) - Workers, employers and governments are to join the International Labour Organization (ILO) in marking the World Day Against Child Labour this year by calling for the elimination of child labour in one of the world's most dangerous sectors - small-scale mining and quarrying - within five to 10 years.

This new initiative will be launched with a "call to action" at a special event during the ILO's International Labour Conference on 10 June. The ILO estimates that at least 1 million children aged five to 17 currently toil in small-scale mines and quarries around the world.

"Children who work in mines and quarries are in such danger - risking their health and safety, and indeed their lives - that action must be taken now", said Juan Somavia, Director-General of the ILO. "One million children are carrying a burden far too heavy for their bodies and responsibilities too heavy for their years. It's up to us, together, to lift this weight from their shoulders, to get them out of the mines and quarries and into school."

The new initiative calls on governments, workers' organizations and employers associated with the mining sector to work together to help remote mining and quarrying enterprises - often small, family-based operations in the informal sector - to become economically and environmentally sustainable without the use of children as workers.

Tripartite delegations from at least 14 countries are expected to present a signed accord to the ILO committing themselves to eliminating child labour in all small-scale mining and quarrying in a "time bound" manner. These countries include: Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Ghana, Mali, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Tanzania, and Togo.

Typically, these are operations that lack mechanization, tools and safety measures to protect workers, no matter what age. The work exposes both adults and children to the risk of death and injury from tunnel collapses, accidental explosions, rock falls, exposure to toxic substances such as mercury and lead, and chronic health conditions such as silicosis. Dirty and dangerous conditions, combined with heavy loads and long hours of work, contribute to a vicious circle that increases the risks of accidents and disease, and denies children opportunities to develop into healthy adults.

World Day observances are expected to take place in scores of cities around the world on 12 June. The World Day Against Child Labour was established by the ILO in 2002 to raise the visibility of global and local efforts against child labour and highlight the global movement to eliminate the practice, particularly its worst forms.

Background

As outlined in a background paper released by the ILO International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), nearly all children involved in small-scale mining and quarrying are in so-called artisanal work sites. Often located in remote, hard-to-reach areas, the sites are difficult to regulate, thus hindering efforts to assist the children working there. Most often, children enter the mining and quarrying sector because they and their families are poor or due to lack of educational facilities. The areas where the small-scale mines exist offer few options for employment, and children are expected to share the burden of earning income for the family.

"This is an extreme form of hazardous work, and we are convinced that with a concerted effort among our constituents we can relegate child labour in mining and quarrying to the dustbin of history", said Guy Thijs, Director of IPEC. "Virtually all of these one million children are located in poor, remote areas that are beyond the scope of regulation. We know largely where they are located, and we have demonstrated through a number of projects that mining and quarrying communities can end child labour with an integrated rural development approach that improves basic services and market access, strengthens governance and ensures compliance with safety and minimum age regulations, and ensures that there are school and vocational training alternatives for the children."

In some mines, children work as far as 90 metres beneath the ground with only a rope with which to climb in and out, inadequate ventilation and only a flashlight or candle for light. In small-scale mining, child workers dig and haul heavy loads of rock, dive into rivers and flooded tunnels in search of minerals, set explosives for underground blasting and crawl through narrow tunnels only as wide as their bodies. In quarries, children dig sand, rock and dirt; transport it on their heads or backs; and spend hours pounding larger rocks into gravel using adult-sized tools to produce construction materials for roads and buildings.

The health risks range from spinal injuries and deformities from carrying loads that are too heavy to potentially fatal rock falls and chronic diseases. These are compounded by the environmental hazards, such as the soil, water and air that may be contaminated with toxic substances like mercury. Clean drinking water, health services and schools are often unavailable, especially in the more remote areas. Even where schools and clinics are available, work obligations often prevent child labourers from enjoying their benefits. In addition, such work often puts children at risk for involvement in the drug and alcohol trade and in prostitution, which are also considered worst forms of child labour under C. 182.

The ILO has set specific standards concerning mining, most recently through the Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No.176), and Recommendation, 1995 (No.183) . In 1999 and 2002, ILO tripartite meetings on mining recommended active measures against child labour in small-scale mining. Since then, the ILO through IPEC has undertaken a number of technical cooperation projects to demonstrate how child labour in mining and quarrying can be stopped.

IPEC's pilot projects in Mongolia, Tanzania, Niger and the Andean countries of South America have shown that the best way to assist children in this sector is to work with the children's own communities, improving the viability, safety and environmental sustainability of the small-scale mining economy, and improving future prospects of the children through accessible, decent schools, training and basic services.

According to the ILO, there are nearly 250 million child labourers worldwide. Approximately one million work in mining and quarrying, considered a worst form of child labour under ILO Convention No. 182. The Convention was adopted in 1999 and addresses "work in hazardous environments, where children are exposed to toxic chemicals, dangerous machinery or extreme heat", among other dangers to child labourers. Convention No. 182, and its predecessor Convention No. 138 on the Minimum Age, adopted in 1973, are among the ILO's most widely ratified conventions.


Rate this content
 
 
 
Average of 330 ratings 
Rating 2.59 / 4 MoyenMoyenMoyenMoyen
Same author:
 flechePoor working conditions are main global employment challenge
 flecheRecognizing the rights of domestic workers
 flecheNew ILO figures show 150 million migrants in the global workforce
 flecheThe future of work depends on the future of women at work
 flecheMore than half of the world’s older persons lack quality long-term care
 flecheG20 starts to tackle inequality
 flecheGrow the economy with a well-balanced diet
 flecheG20 caught in weak economic and jobs recovery spiral
 fleche2030 development agenda: Major breakthrough for world of work
 flecheCutting back workers' protection does not lead to stronger growth
 flecheNew ILO study points to the long-term impact of child labour
 flecheInformally employed Syrian refugees, working under harsh conditions, further strain Jordanian labour market
 flecheRana Plaza: Never again
 flecheTechnology lightens the load for factory inspector
 flecheWhere has inequality gone up and where has it gone down?
 flecheMembers of g7+ to discuss creating jobs for peace through Fragile-to-Fragile Cooperation
 flecheGlobal survey shows rising women’s participation in cooperatives
 flecheProgress on gender equality at work remains inadequate
 flechePrivate sector services and the care economy, key engines of job creation
 flecheUnemployment on the rise over next five years as inequality persists
 flecheGlobal momentum means more women move into management
 flecheLack of higher education leaves millions of young people out of decent work in developing countries
 flecheGlobal health protection crisis leaves almost 40% of the world’s population without any coverage
 flecheGreece needs to address risk of a prolonged social crisis
 flecheCooperatives’ considerable clout in the fight against child labour
 flecheGlobal Employment Trends 2014: Risk of a jobless recovery?
 flecheMore than 70 per cent of the world population lacks proper social protection
 flecheWorld Day Against Child Labour
 flecheSeasonal work brings year-round benefits
 flecheGlobal Employment Trends 2014: The risk of a jobless recovery
 flecheGlobal Employment Trends 2014: The risk of a jobless recovery
 flecheGlobal Employment Trends 2014: The risk of a jobless recovery
 flecheWorking poverty reduction stalled
 flecheThe pride of working women
 flecheHow can sports help to promote youth employment?
 flecheAn unprecedented gathering deep in the Amazon jungle
 flecheIs small still beautiful?
 flecheWork sharing can save jobs in times of crisis
 flecheA strategic alliance for youth employment
 flecheRise of middle-class jobs in the developing world could spur growth
 flecheLabour market gender gap: Two steps forward, one step back
 flecheMore than 70 per cent of workers lack unemployment protection
 flecheYouth unemployment getting even worse
 flecheWage cuts may hurt growth
 flecheILO: Greater gender equality in politics is good news for the world of work
 flecheTransition to green economy could yield up to 60 million jobs, ILO says
 flecheStepping up the fight against child labour
 flecheILO chief on world economy: Too much focus on finance, too little on society
 flecheYouth employment
 flecheILO study says workplace inequality in Europe has increased significantly since start of financial crisis
 flecheILO warns youth job crisis threatens social cohesion, calls for more and better jobs for youth
 flecheShort term indicators of the labour market
 flecheVoices on Social Justice
 flecheGlobal Employment Trends 2012: Preventing a deeper jobs crisis
 flecheShort-term employment and labour market outlook and key challenges in G20 countries
 flecheSocial protection floor key to addressing crises and social instability
 flecheWorld of Work Report 2011- ILO says world heading for a new and deeper jobs recession, warns of more social unrest
 flecheQuestions and Answers on global trends and challenges on occupational safety and health
 flecheXIX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work
(11-15 September 2011, Istanbul - Turkey)

 flecheQuestions and answers on the ILO response to challenges in the Arab World
 fleche100th ILO annual Conference decides to bring an estimated 53 to 100 million domestic workers worldwide under the realm of labour standards
 flecheMain findings of the ILO study 'The Global Crisis: Causes, responses and challenges'
 flecheGlobal economic crisis opens up new space for discrimination at work, ILO says
 flecheILO: learning lessons from success key to economic improvement for the Least Developed Countries
 flecheILO says fair and equitable policies are key to sustainable economic recovery
 flecheILO report warns weak jobs recovery to continue through 2011 - youth employment a world priority
 flecheSocial security plays critical role in times of crisis, but still eludes much of the world
 flecheOslo Conference calls for commitment to recovery focused on jobs
 flecheWorld economic crisis has spurred a record increase in youth unemployment says ILO
 flecheYouth employment in crisis: Questions and answers on the situation of youth on the labour market
 flecheThe State of Child Labour Today
 flecheILO says 21 million jobs in G20 saved by crisis response policies, but labour market slack remains high
 flecheUnemployment reached highest level on record in 2009: Somavia calls for the same policy decisiveness that saved banks to save and create jobs
 flecheILO warns “early exit” from stimulus measures could prolong jobs crisis
 flecheILO report says temporary workers among the worst hit by the economic crisis, urges balance between flexible labour markets and workers’ protection
 flecheDespite continued rise in unemployment, measures taken by G20 governments will save up to 11 million jobs in 2009, ILO says
 flecheFacing the global jobs crisis: Migrant workers, a population at risk
 flecheCommunity tourism: respecting nature, local culture and indigenous peoples’ rights while on vacation
 flecheILO welcomes new support for the Global Jobs Pact from the UN Economic and Social Council
 flecheILO adopts “Global Jobs Pact” aimed at creating jobs, protecting workers and stimulating economic recovery
 flecheILO says crisis increases risk of girls becoming child labourers
 flecheHeads of State, government and leaders from the world of work tackle the global jobs crisis
 flecheILO says job losses are increasing due to economic crisis
 flecheNew ILO report says “cost of coercion” to workers in forced labour surpasses USD 20 billion per year
 flecheILO marks its 90th anniversary with global dialogue for decent work and a fair globalization
 flecheThe ILO and the quest for social justice : 90 years of ILO history
 flecheILO calls for urgent global jobs pact to forestall "prolonged and severe" employment crisis
 flecheILO warns economic crisis could generate up to 22 million more unemployed women in 2009, jeopardize equality gains at work and at home
 flecheMicrofinance and the real economy: impacts and outcomes of the global economic crisis
 flecheILO meeting to discuss employment crunch in the financial sector
 flecheUnemployment, working poor and vulnerable employment to increase dramatically due to global economic crisis
 flecheWorld of Work Report 2008: Income inequalities in the age of financial globalization
 flecheWorld of Work Report 2008 - Global income inequality gap is vast and growing
 flecheLandmark new report says emerging green economy could create tens of millions of new “Green Jobs”
 flecheWomen migrant workers: seizing opportunities, upholding rights
 flecheILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization
 flecheInternational Day of Cooperatives - Cooperating in times of crisis
 flecheHigh-level meeting in Turin from 1 to 3 July on “The European social model in the context of globalization”
 flecheWorld Day Against Child Labour 2008 ─ ILO says education is the “right response” to child labour
 flecheILO sees a significant improvement in Workplace attitudes to HIV/AIDS
 flecheILO Director-General calls for new multilateral consensus to head off global slowdown and recession
 flecheGlobal Employment Trends for Women 2008
 flecheGlobal Employment Trends for Women 2008: more women enter the workforce, but more than half of all working women are in vulnerable jobs
 flecheThe challenge to make chocolate child labour free
 flecheILO projects global economic turbulence could generate five million more unemployed in 2008
 flecheILO calls for new efforts to support people with disabilities in the world of work
 flecheTrade unions and globalisation: trends, challenges and responses
 flecheGreen jobs and global warming: ILO to discuss new initiatives for tackling climate change in the world of work
 flecheKey Indicators of the Labour Market - Executive summary
 flecheNew ILO report says US leads the world in labour productivity, some regions are catching up, most lag behind
 flecheILO says Asia and the Pacific labour forces expected to grow by over 200 million by 2015
 flecheThe Decent Work Agenda in Africa: 2007–2015
 flecheWhen global leaders discuss business and labour principles - Global Compact Leaders Summit 2007
 flecheNew ILO Global Report on Equality at Work 2007
 flecheEmployment and working conditions in Europe: How much can one work?
 flecheILO study warns on the feminization of working poverty
 flecheILO and WTO issue new joint study on "Trade and employment: Challenges and policy research"
 flecheILO, UNDP join forces to promote growth for decent jobs
 flecheGlobal Employment Trends 2007
 flecheReversing the brain drain in China: the return of the 'sea turtles'
 flecheNew ILO study says youth unemployment rising, with hundreds of millions more working but living in poverty
 flecheILO Director-General lauds formation of new global union federation representing 166 million workers
 flecheThe global jobs crisis:
Address the growing imbalance between growth and jobs creation

 flecheRealizing decent work in Asia
 flecheAsia and Pacific region faces massive jobs gap
 flecheILO to hold Asia and Pacific Regional Meeting in Busan, Republic of Korea
 flecheRussia needs migrant workers to support economic growth
 flecheSaving lives, protecting jobs: Strategic HIV/AIDS responses by enterprises (SHARE)
 flecheRecognizing the rights of the guardians of the forest: "pygmies" in Cameroon
 flecheGATS, Migration, and Labor Standards
 flecheILO hails new UN Declaration on strengthening global efforts to promote Decent Work for poverty reduction and sustainable development
 flecheGiving a fair deal to the world's 86 million migrant workers
 flecheNew ILO Report shows marked decline in child labour worldwide
 flecheILO annual jobs report says global unemployment continues to grow, youth now make up half those out of work
 flecheIs the rising international integration of products and services good for labour markets in the developed world?
 fleche"Looking for greener pastures": Nurses and doctors on the move
 flecheILO adopts sweeping new charter for maritime sector
 flecheLabour migration in the twenty-first century: E Pluribus, Unum?

 flecheILO annual jobs report says global unemployment continues to grow, youth now make up half those out of work
 flecheGlobalization failing to create new, quality jobs or reduce poverty
 flecheTripartite Meeting on Promoting Fair Globalization in Textiles and Clothing in a Post-MFA Environment
 flecheVocational Education and Training
 flecheInternational Conference: Fair Globalization - Safe Workplace - Policies, Strategies and Practices for Sustainable Development
 flecheMicrofinance is our business – Cooperating out of Poverty
 flechePresident Abdelaziz Bouteflika calls for a social dimension of globalization
 fleche93rd annual Conference of the ILO - Delegates pave the way for urgent action on key labour concerns

 flecheSituation of workers in occupied Arab territories continues to deteriorate
 flecheGlobal Report 2005: A global alliance against forced labour
 flecheILO Regional Meeting expands social agenda for Europe and Central Asia
 flecheThe report: "A fair globalization - Creating opportunities for all"
 flecheNew ILO report sees weak global job growth in 2004 - Says European job growth remains static
 flecheNew UN decision makes fair globalization a core issue of the world agenda in 2005
 flecheKöhler, Horst
 flecheSomavia, Juan
 flecheUN General Assembly adopts resolution on world commission report on fair globalization
 flecheHalf the world's workers living below US$2 a day poverty line
 flecheMicrofinance paves the way to decent work
 flecheNew ILO book explores "Decent Working Time Deficit" in the industrialized countries
 flecheNew ILO report examines future of work and quality in the media, culture and graphical sector
 flecheNew ILO programme to tackle discrimination, integration of migrant workers in Europe
 flechePreparatory Technical Maritime Conference concludes successfully. Delegates forge new Convention for the maritime industry
 flecheLeaders from North and South join forces for a fair globalization
 flecheILO Director-General Addresses Extraordinary Summit of African Union says, " good national governance will not succeed unless we have good global governance"
 flecheEconomic security strengthens tolerance and happiness as well as growth and development
 flecheYouth unemployment at all time high, new ILO report says half the world's jobless are under 24
 flecheILO issues first global analysis of HIV/AIDS impact on the world of work estimates 36.5 million working age persons now have HIV, 28 million lost to world labour force by 2005
 fleche92nd annual Conference of the ILO concludes its work
 flecheWorld Commission says globalization can and must change, calls for urgent rethink of global governance
 flecheWorld Commission says globalization can and must change, calls for urgent rethink of global governance
 flecheGlobal unemployment remains at record levels in 2003 but annual ILO jobs report sees signs of recovery
 flecheEn Indonésie, la mondialisation remet en question l'ébénisterie traditionnelle
 flecheDelegates to examine how to fight poverty, create jobs
 flecheWorking out of poverty
 flecheQuatrième réunion de la Commission mondiale sur la dimension sociale de la mondialisation
13
SEARCH
Keywords   go
in 
Translate this page Traduire par Google Translate
Share

Share on Facebook
FACEBOOK
Partager sur Twitter
TWITTER
Share on Google+Google + Share on LinkedInLinkedIn
Partager sur MessengerMessenger Partager sur BloggerBlogger
Other items
where is published this article: