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Posts Tagged ‘International Labour Organization’

Action needed for the eradication slavery and child labour in Ghana

Posted by African Press International on December 5, 2013

GENEVA, Switzerland, December 3, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Gulnara Shahinian, urged the Government of Ghana to consolidate the important steps it has taken with strong and sustainable implementation strategies with measurable impact on groups at risk as well as victims of slavery.

“Further progress on eradicating the various forms of modern day slavery and exploitation in Ghana can only be achieved by addressing the root causes sustaining these practices, including poverty, regional disparities and the lack of access to livelihoods, education and health,” the expert said. A human rights-based approach is essential to do this.

“During my visit, I have seen that child labour, including in its worst forms continues to thrive in some communities. Children, some as young as 4 years of age, continue to be sent to work in fishing communities where they do dangerous work, are deprived of an education and are not paid,” she noted.

Ms. Shahinian hailed the steps taken by some of these fishing communities to ban child labour in their villages and to extend their child protection work to neighboring areas. “More community awareness raising and livelihoods are needed,” she explained. Children also work in hazardous and slavery conditions in the artisan mining sector, and in the cocoa sector – though the latter has seen significant improvements.

“I had the opportunity to speak to girls engaged in survival and commercial sex in Accra and Kayayes in the market who sleep in the open in appalling conditions with very young children and are regularly exposed to rape, exploitation and abuse, the the Special Rapporteur said. “These women and girls, as well as the children who accompany them are vulnerable to become victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced and bonded labour and other forms of slavery. In addition to poverty, some are fleeing from early and forced marriages.”

Domestic servitude, often involving young children is another form of contemporary slavery which is believed to be rampant and must be studied and addressed. Equally there is a need to understand better the dynamics of forced labour and other forms of slavery along the person’s life cycle and pay greater attention to the situation of adults, on which there is too little effort and information.

The independent expert noted that many of these situations of exploitation increasingly occur in the context of the large waves of internal migration from poor rural areas to urban centres. “It is critical to invest in areas of origin and to invest heavily in the management of urban development, so that poor informal settlements or slums do not become sourcing centres for all forms of slave labour and trafficking for criminals,” Ms. Shahinian stressed.

The government of Ghana has taken the important step of recognizing the existence of slavery, of adopting legislative frameworks, and putting in place a number of institutional mechanisms and programs, such as in the area of child labor, and human trafficking. They have adopted the National Plan of Action (NPA) for the Elimination of the Worst forms of Child Labor, which aims to eradicate such practices by 2015, and ratified a number of international agreements, including key human right and ILO Conventions.

“I commend the authorities for these efforts and for establishing these frameworks,” the Special Rapporteur said. “I now urge the Government, in partnership with other stakeholders, to ensure that these frameworks become genuine tools for change.”

The expert warned that “budgetary allocations from the national budget to relevant ministries, departments and programs are inadequate, as is data collection, which is necessary to inform actions and understand the magnitude of the problem.”

In her view, greater and urgent efforts are necessary to ensure that social protection programs are rationalized, purposeful, and sustainable. These must be able to effectively identify and target the most vulnerable, be sufficiently resourced, and informed by a truly participatory and bottom-up approach.

Other challenges include coordination between relevant government structures and programs, the need for greater inclusion of civil society and affected communities at every stage, and genuine decentralisation which is more representational, able to reach all communities and supported with sufficient resources.

“The importance of education was stressed by everyone I encountered on this visit,” Ms. Shahinian noted. “Communities explained how critical education was to keep children out of child labour, while mothers working in terrible condition in the streets or in markets explained their objective was to earn money to send their children to school. Effective access to basic services such as primary education, adequate housing and health continue to be a challenge for many, despite favorable legislation.”

“Using a human rights-based approach can empower all stakeholders, including Government, and affected communities to address these rights as well as other socio-economic rights from the point of view of good governance and accountability,” she underscored.

During her nine-day mission, The Special Rapporteur visited various fishing communities in the lake Volta region, a rehabilitation centre, outdoor markets and other areas in Accra. She met with Government representatives, law enforcement agencies, victims, traditional community chiefs, teachers, members of community child protection committees, and international and civil society organisations.

Ms. Shahinian will present the findings of the visit to the Human Rights Council in September 2014.

 

SOURCE

United NationsOffice of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

 

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Forced or servile marriage – Debt bondage

Posted by African Press International on October 22, 2013

A young boy works as a labourer near Kathmandu (file photo)

NAIROBI,  – More than two centuries after slavery was outlawed, 29.8 million people globally continue to be subjected to new and diverse forms of servitude, a new index ranking 162 countries shows.

Haiti, India, Nepal, Mauritania and Pakistan have the highest prevalence of modern-day slavery, according to the first edition of the Global Slavery Index(compiled by Australian-based rights organization Walk Free Foundation), while in absolute numbers, China, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and Pakistan have the most people enslaved. In India, almost 14 million people are believed to be victims of modern slavery.

Contemporary servitude, however, is “poorly understood, so it remains hidden within houses, communities and worksites”, it stated.

According to Gulnara Shahinian, the UN special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, its causes and consequences, “contemporary slavery… often occurs in hard to reach areas of the country or what is perceived as the `private realm’, such as in the case of domestic servitude…

“In today’s world, slavery takes many different forms: human trafficking, forced labour, bonded labour, servitude… These people are controlled and forced to work against their will and their dignity and rights are denied.”

IRIN looks at some of the major forms of modern-day slavery.

Forced labour: The International Labour Organization (ILO) considerscompulsory or forced labour any “work or service exacted from any person under the threat of a penalty and for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily.”

Common forms of forced labour can be found in under-regulated or labour-intensive industries, such as agriculture and fisheries, construction, manufacturing, domestic work, and the sex industry. A 2013 ILO report, highlighted some of the brutal conditions under which people are made to work in the fisheries industry. This category can apply to multiple forms of slavery, with people being forced to work in a variety of ways, often including the threat of violence or debt bondage.

ILO estimates that around 21 million people are victims of forced labour.

Debt bondage: This is the most common form of contemporary slavery, according to the London-based NGO Anti-Slavery International, which says “a person becomes a bonded labourer when their labour is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan. The person is then tricked or trapped into working for very little or no pay, often for seven days a week.”

In Pakistan, the Asian Development Bank estimates that 1.8 million people are bonded labourers, primarily working in brick kilns as well as in agriculture, fisheries and mining. In Brazil’s rural sector, a 2010 UN report found that many poor workers were enticed to distant areas by intermediaries, who charged an advance on their salaries, promising high wages. The workers found themselves paying hefty off loans for the cost of their transport and food, without any clear indication of how their debt or wages were being calculated.

Similar practices occur in Bangladesh.

Human trafficking: The UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime defines human trafficking as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons”, through the threat or use of force or other means of coercion “for the purpose of exploitation”.

In Benin, the International Office for Migration estimates that more than 40,000 children are the victims of trafficking. The Global Slavery Index notes that many of these children are trafficked to countries within the region, as well as from rural to urban areas within one country.

Forced or servile marriage: This occurs when an individual does not enter into a marriage with full and free consent. The 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery considers illegal any practice where “a woman, without the right to refuse, is promised or given in marriage on payment of a consideration in money or in kind to her parents, guardian, family or any other person or group”. Transfer of a woman by her husband in return for payment, as well as inheritance of a woman following the death of her husband, is also outlawed. While the definition only applies to women and girls (who bear the brunt of forced marriages) there have been calls for it to cover boys and men too.

Child slavery: Child slavery and exploitation, including the use of children in armed conflict, is another common form of contemporary slavery. The Worst Forms of Child Labour, defined by ILO include the sale and trafficking of children, compulsory labour, serfdom, and the compulsory use of children in armed conflict. In Haiti, children from rural households are sent to urban areas to work as domestic house helps for wealthier families and can then be exploited. Around 1 in 10 children in Haiti are exploited, according to the Global Slavery Index.

While child slavery remains a significant problem, the number in child labour around the world reduced to 168 million in 2012 from 246 million in 2000, according to ILO.

Chattel slavery: A situation where a person or group of people is considered the property of a slave-owner, and can be traded, is the least common form of slavery today. Slave-owners in these situations control victims and their descendants, and therefore individuals are often born enslaved.

Although slavery was finally criminalized in Mauritania in 2007, leading to the freeing of many people, few slave-owners have been convicted of the practice, and chattel slavery remains a serious problem. The Global Slavery Index estimates there are 140,000-160,000 slaves in Mauritania.

aps/aw/cb  source http://www.irinnews.org

 

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Many Pakistani girls are out of school – Housework not homework

Posted by African Press International on August 3, 2013

Many Pakistani girls are out of school

LAHORE,  – Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai’s speech at the UN in New York calling for “free, compulsory education all over the world for every child” is a reminder that back in her home country several million children are out of school, exploited for their labour, and/or abused.

The most recent annual State of Pakistan’s Children report, published in May by the Islamabad-based NGO Society for the Protection and Rights of the Child (SPARC), found that out of 120 countries in the world, Pakistan has the second largest number of children out of school (after Nigeria), with 5.1 million children aged 5-9 not attending an educational institution.

“Education is vital for our future. Only when they read can they research, think and do something for the nation. Without education in its true sense there is no hope for this,” said Basarat Kazim, president of the Lahore-based NGO Alif Laila Book Bus Society which campaigns for education, literacy and modernization in the education sector.

A significant number of these children end up in the workplace.

“Child labour is a highly accepted social norm from a very young age for both girls and boys,” said Smaranda Popa, the chief of child protection at the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Pakistan. “These children are not only denied access to their rights to education, protection, health and development but are also highly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.”

Figures on the precise number of child workers are somewhat uncertain, with estimates ranging from 3.3 million, according to a 1996 figure from the Federal Bureau of Statistics, to 12 million, according to more recent estimates by media reports and NGOs. The International Labour Organization estimates one quarter of these children are involved in the worst forms of child labour, including slavery, commercial sexual exploitation of children, using children to commit a crime, and work that is harmful to the “health, safety or morals” of children.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics in its 2010-11 Labour Force Survey puts the number of child workers at just 4.29 percent of the country’s children aged 10-14, in other words 855,426 of the 19.94 million children in that age range, according to 2011 figures from the government’s Economic Survey.

Brooms not books

According to SahibaIrfan Khan, programme officer child labour at SPARC’s Lahore office, the only major law on child labour is the Employment of Children Act 1991, “which just regulates child labour for those less than 14 years of age and prohibits it in specific occupations and processes.”

These laws are frequently weakly enforced, particularly in the area of domestic labour.

Earlier this month, an incident in which an influential employer had beaten her 13-year-old domestic servant, Jamil, to death after he dropped a jug was widely reported in the media and confirmed by police in the southern Punjab city of Multan. “Investigations in this case are continuing,” city police officer Ghulam Muhammad Dogarm told IRIN.

Another local administration official, who asked not to be named, said child labour was high in the area due to poverty, and “complaints of physical or sexual abuse are made but not often acted on because the families of the victims do not have much power.” He believed the incident involving the murder of Jamil was taken up only because “the news reached the media.”

Other cases of abuse go unreported. “My 11-year-old daughter, Habiba, worked as a maid in a big house, helping to look after three young children, and doing all kinds of other tasks such as washing dishes,” mother Shahida Bibi, of Lahore, told IRIN.

“I took her home after I visited one day and found her covered in bruises as a result of the beating she had received from her employers, who said she did not work hard enough. She also told me she was made to labour for up to 14 or 15 hours a day.”

Such stories are not unusual, according to SPARC. “Thousands of children working as domestic servants are deprived of their basic right to education and are often subjected to abuse and violence,” said Khan.

Data compiled by the organization shows that between January 2010 and December 2011, 18 cases of “severe” torture and abuse of child domestic labourers were reported. Of these 18 children, 13 died as a direct result of the violence inflicted upon them at the hands of their employers.

“In the first six months of 2013, 14 cases of violence against child domestic workers were reported in media, out of which nine resulted in the death of the child,” Khan said.

Poverty, inadequate educational facilities and a lack of awareness of the negative impacts of such work are a key cause of the high prevalence of child domestic labour, with families sending children into domestic service.

“Extreme educational poverty”

The poor condition of state-run schools, and the lack of access to them, notably in rural areas, also makes it more likely children will be sent to work.

According to the government’s Economic Survey for 2012-13, the literacy rate in rural areas, at 49 percent, is significantly lower than the 75 percent in urban areas.

Yusuf, 12, has worked as a labourer in Lahore, Pakistan since dropping out of school last year

Facilities at public-sector schools are often dismal, with many lacking furniture, fans, drinking water, toilets, or teachers. According to the 2012 report by the Pakistan Education Task Force, set up by the government in 2009, seven million children are currently out of school and 30 percent of citizens “live in extreme educational poverty”, with 15-20 percent of teachers absent from the classroom on an average day.

“My son, aged 10 years, simply kept running away from school, because he was shouted at by his teachers, sometimes beaten and taught very little since his teacher rarely came,” said Muhammad Hanif, who lives in the settlement of Shahdra on the outskirts of Lahore.

Hanif says he was unable to pay for private schooling, and rather than have his son “roam around on the streets”, he arranged for him to be employed as a house-help. “He is at least given his meals, even if it is just a few leftovers or lentils, and he brings home Rs 2,500 [US$25] each month,” Hanif said.

The wage is less than half of what would, in most cases, be paid to an adult. SPARC says children are preferred for domestic labour because they are considered more obedient, and can be hired for less pay.

Acts of charity?

There is, however, a twist to the tale. For generations, employing child domestic workers has been considered an act of charity.

“Employers believe that since employing poor and unfortunate children is in itself a great favour to the child, they have the liberty to treat them as they wish,” Khan said. This attitude is also tied in to traditional culture in a society highly stratified on the basis of class and wealth.

“Feudal lords are not just large landowners or big farmers. Land is the sole economic resource in a good part of this country and whatever little opportunities, other than land, have arisen lately have also been monopolized by the same class,” said Tahir Mehdi, executive coordinator of the NGO LokSujag, which campaigns for democratic rights and social equity.

Speaking of employment by the wealthy, he said: “They treat their subjects as pairs of hands that should work for them like robots that need to be oiled but don’t have any rights and can’t make any demands.”

Of course, not every child domestic worker suffers. Some, like Pervez Zaman, 13, are more fortunate. Zaman, from the north of the country, says his employer in Lahore pays him well, has given him an additional food allowance and is now planning to arrange for private lessons so he can catch up on the studies he missed out on when he was younger.

However, such cases are rare. The incidence of abuse among young domestic workers is high, as SPARC has recorded, while simply being at work also means they are missing out on schooling.

To address child labour, UNICEF says, Pakistan must harmonize its legislation with international standards, implement those laws, provide functional child and social protection systems including for family poverty, improve access to and use of social services, and increase the amount of “decent” work available to adults.

“Any state invests in its sustainable development by investing in education,” Popa said. “No child should be forced to substitute school with the worst forms of labour.”

kh/jj/ha/cb  source http://www.irinnews.org

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KENYA; Over 700 pupils in Nambale, Busia County infested by jiggers get free treatment

Posted by African Press International on June 20, 2013

  •  By Gilbert Ochieng Achieng.
More than seven hundred pupils and fifty villagers from Walatsi location in Nambale sub-county infested with jiggers were yesterday given free treatment by a civil society organization.

The free medical attention that was provided by an NGO known as Rural Education and Economic Empowerment [REEP] from Butula in collaboration with the International Labour Organization [ILO] donated a total of sh145, 000 to facilitate the exercise.

The pupils who benefited from the free medical camp were drawn from primary schools namely Otiiri, Khwirale Centre, Mwangaza, Musokoto B, Kaludeka as well as Musokoto D.E.B.

International Labour Organization’s planning and coordination officer Consolata Atieno said they decided to undertake the exercise in the area as a matter of urgency following the spread of jigger infestation that had led to the death of two victims this year from the same with scores of them continuing to suffer from jiggers.

“We felt that urgent action needed to be taken to save the situation when we realized that two victims had passed on this year while scores of the residents proceeded to suffer in silence. That is why we put our heads together and agreed to undertake the venture jointly to save lives,” said Atieno.
The two jigger victims who passed away in April and May 2013 were Sarah Masika aged seventeen and Tom Wabwire aged fifty four all hailed from Khwirale Centre in Walatsi sub-location, Bukhayo East location in Nambale district, Busia County.
Bukhayo East location Chief Chripinus Sidialo who also attended the occasion attributed rampant jigger infestation cases to the keeping of various livestock and failure on the part of the residents to maintain high standards of cleanliness in their households.
ENDS.

 

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Kenya: Child labour hit Counties in Nyanza Region due to poverty.

Posted by African Press International on May 29, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal, API Kenya

At the age of 11 Joyce Adhiambo*, a resident of Homabay Town, wakes up at 4.30 am each day and tramps to a nearby river to fetch water for his bosses before embarking to firewood. Adhiambo also helps prepare and serve the family with meals and sweeps the whole compound among other chores.
Surprisingly, Adhiambo has no shoes but a half-heel chopped off red flappers which she uses to protect her cracked feet. She narrates that she found herself in this horrible situation four years ago at a tender age of 8 years after she lost both of her parents due to HIV.
After the death of her parents Adhiambo was adopted by her aunts in Homabay but her stay there was short-lived. Circumstances forced her to quit the place due to harassment from family members.
The poor girl while at her aunt’s place, she was forced to sleep on an empty sack.  Narrating to this scribe, the young girl said was often beaten up on the slightest provocation of her aunt who forced her to feed on leftovers that dropped from the family table.

 

Now Adhiambo is a young domestic worker who does know her fate. The child labor, which is now broadly defined as the employment of minors, is often a harsh and most exploitative condition among children.
But the vice has remained in practical both in developing and even industrial countries. The human cost of child labour leaves the victims gaunt, crippled, illiterate and sick.
International Labour Organization (ILO) that was founded in 1919 has since transformed into special agency of the United Nations (UN).The introduction of child labour conventions by ILO among members, including a minimum age of 16 years for admission to all kinds of work. While others including a higher minimum age for particular employment, medical examination and regulation of right work.
In early 21st Century, ILO was compelled to add the worst forms of child labour to its list including slavery, debt bondage (where children work to pay off loans owed by parents) prostitution and forced military services.
A growing concern now in Homabay County has been the increase in prostitution among young girls in urban areas especially in drinking spree. Some of the children have been forced in the ugly practice due to abject poverty.
The 1997 UNICEF report concerning child labour stated most employers try to hire workers who are easier or cheap to exploit. It was also estimated that over 3 million minors in Kenya engage in child labour, usually working under hazardous conditions.
The report also highlighted that the most vulnerable and weakest workers are children usually paid less than the adults and are often ignorant on their rights or how to protest against poor working environment.
“Poverty plays an enormous role in the phenomenon. Desperate for money, poor families around the world including Kenya are forced to push minors to increase overall income among the families. “The report read in part.
The poor families, the small contributions of child’s income or the assistance can make a huge difference between a bare sufficiency and hunger, the survey reveals.
In various towns of Homabay County, a stroll in the streets at night leaves one gasping for breath over the ages of girls frequently visiting clubs at night for prostitution.
A study carried town in seven districts in Kenya in 1997 by child Welfare Society of Kenya indicated that child prostitution is widely practiced in big towns. Some victims were as young as 11 years old. Malindi and Mombasa peaked underage children selling sex.
In Nairobi, the number of street children has risen to 60,000 with the Government estimating their numbers to grow at 10 percent annually. The children are often involved in drug trafficking, assault, theft, trespass and property damaging.
A survey carried out in 1996 in a lower class estate in Nairobi found that 30% of households employed children. In 1997 the figured dropped by 12%.

And in Homabay, about 30 children are in the streets in search for food with majority being young girls. Kisumu City is not spared either with about 30% who are at the age of going to school.

 

According to business fraternity street children have now become a menace as they steal from them to have a bit due to hardship they undergo.
In Kenya, a study of girls working as housemaids found out that 25 girls aged 9-16 years, 18 were HIV positive. Most of the girls had worked in homes had reported sexual abuse in all or most of them.
Statistics available in labour officer in Homabay region indicates that more than 15,000 underage girls in the region have been lured or forced into commercial sex work by wealth men.
According to Mary Achieng, a child rights activists in Homabay County, says that apart from prostitution, a high percentage of underage children in the region are involved in stone crashing, charcoal kilns and bricking making as others are employed as housemaids.
On the other hand, a survey in six districts in Homabay County reveals that most children drop out of school due to a rigid curriculum to an extent they prefer to look interesting jobs.
And in Kisumu City, Children are not spared either with some going sleepless night along the streets hawking boiled maize to earn a living.
Meet Josephine Atieno (not her real name), a former class 5 who had to drop out of school after the death of her parents to provide for  her younger siblings.
Atieno now sells boiled maize throughout the night at bar parks, clubs and stage especially to bar goers, bodaboda and matatu operators who lure them to sexual activities.
According to Atieno, she is just one of the examples of children hawking various food stuffs to have a meal on the table, a spot check by the writer shows that a good number of boys and girls are full in the streets across the Nyanza region.
Some of the children are sent to collect scrap metals by dealers only to be attacked by the owners who seriously assault them.
The hardship has now forced a good number of children to the streets in various counties such as Kisii, Kisumu, Homabay, Migori, Siaya and Nyamira thereby increasing the number of street children in the region.
Some of the children have now embarked on Commercial Sex at various clubs I the streets of Kisumu, Homabay Kisii among others without proper knowledge of HIV.
In every 20 of the girls in the social areas 10 are miners who have dropped out of school because of poverty and death of their parents.
According to these children, they are not in such kind of activities because they want but due to pathetic conditions and difficulties they are undergoing.
A spot check in Kisii, Migori and Nyamira the story replays the same scenario with some being used by drug peddlers to sneak drugs to their destinations.
This exposes them to greatest danger of drugs. This is rampant especially in Migori as it borders Kenya and Tanzania. The same story replays in Rachuonyo North District with children involved in fishing and harvesting sand to make a living. Some risking their lives by going inside the caves.
But along the lake shore of Lake Victoria children are fishing just to feed their siblings with some spending money they get to buy sex from commercial sex workers in these beaches.
This now calls for immediately concerned by the Children Department in the 6 Counties to ensure the well-being of children are catered for, this is according to various activists based in Kisumu and Homabay.

 

In tackling the poverty level in the counties, Governor Homabay Cyprian Awiti said his government is set to allocate about 30% to eradicate poverty through loaning the residents to start-up small business activities to earn a living. This now call for solidarity among the governors in Nyanza region to fight poverty so as to reduce cases of child labour, this according to Awiti.
 

END

 

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Kenya: How poverty drives minors into child labour

Posted by African Press International on May 10, 2013

  • BY GODFREY WAMALWA,API,KENYA

Stella Barasa, 13, a resident of Webuye suburb Malaha estate,wakes up at 4am each day and trudges to a nearby river to fetch water for his bosses.Stella also helps prepare and serve the family with meals and sweeps the whole compound among other chores.

surprisingly, stella has no shoes but a half-heel chopped off red flappers which she uses to protect her cracked feet.

Stella narrates that she found herself in this horrible situation four years ago at a tender age of nine years after she lost both of her parents due to deadly HIV.

After her parents death,she was adopted by her aunts in Nakuru but her stay there was short-lived. Circumstances forced her to quit the place due to harassment from family members.

The poor girl while at her aunt’s place,she was forced to sleep on an empty 90 kg sack.  Narrating to this scribe,the young girl said was often beaten up on the slightest provocation of her aunt who forced her to feed on leftovers that dropped from the family table.

Now Stella,is a young domestic worker who does know her fate.The child labor ,which is now broadly defined as the employment of minors, is often a harsh and most exploitative condition among children.

But the vice has remained in practical both in developing and even industrial countries.The human cost of child labour leaves the victims gaunt, crippled, illiterate and sick.

International Labour Organisation(ILO) that was founded in 1919 has since transformed into special agency of the United Nations (UN)

The introduction of child labour conventions by ILO among members,including a minimum age of 16 years for admission to all kinds of work. While others including a higher minimum age for particular employment,medical examination and regulation of right work.

In early 21st Century,ILO was compelled to add the worst forms of child labour to its list including slavery,debt bondage(where children work to pay off loans owed by parents)prostitution and forced military services.

A growing concern now in Bungoma County has been the increase in prostitution among young girls in urban ares especially in drinking spree.Some of the children have been forced in the ugly practice due to abject poverty.

The 1997 Unicef report concerning child labour stated most employers try to hire workers who are easier or cheap to exploit.It was also estimated that over 3 million minors in Kenya engage in child labour, usually working under hazardous conditions.

The report also highlighted that the most vulnerable and weakest workers are children usually paid less than the adults and are often ignorant on their rights or how to protest against poor working environment.

“Poverty plays an enormous role in the phenomenon.Desperate for money,poor families around the world including Kenya are forced to push minors to increase overall income among the families. “The report read in part.

The poor families,the small contributions of child’s income or the assistance can make a huge difference between a bare sufficiency and hunger, the survey reveals.

In various towns of Bungoma county,a stroll in the streets at night leaves one gasping for breath over the ages of girls frequently visiting clubs at night for prostitution.

A study carried town in seven districts in Kenya in 1997 by child Welfare Society of Kenya indicated that child prostitution is widely practised in big towns. Some victims were as young as 11 years old. Malindi and Mombasa topped underage children selling sex.

In Nairobi,the number of street children has risen to 60,000 with the Government estimating their numbers to grow at 10 percent annually. The children are often involved in drug trafficking,assault, theft, trespass and property damaging.

A survey carried out in 1996 in a lower class estate in Nairobi found that 30% of households employed children.In 1997 the figured dropped by 12%.

In Kenya, a study of girls working as housemaids found out that 25 girls aged 9-16 years,18 were HIV positive. Most of the girls  had worked in homes had reported sexual abuse in all or most of them.

Statistics available in labour officer in larger Bungoma region indicates that more than 13,000 underage girls in the region have been lured or forced into commercial sex by wealth men.

According to Hariet Owulo, a child rights activists in Bungoma, says that apart from prostitution, a high percentage of underage children in the region are involved in stone crashing,charcoal kilns and bricking making as others are employed as housemaids.

On the other hand,a survey in six districts in Bungoma county reveals that most children drop out of school due to a rigid curriculum to an extent they prefer to look interesting jobs.

 

end

 

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Norway doubles funding to the International Labour Organization

Posted by African Press International on April 10, 2013

“The Norwegian Government is making a historical commitment to promote better working conditions for people in developing countries through the ILO,” said Minister of International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås.

Mr Holmås and Director-General Guy Ryder of the International Labour Organization (ILO) signed a new cooperation agreement in connection with the ILO European Regional Meeting that takes place in Oslo this week. Norway has been one of the ILO’s most important cooperation partners for many years, and provided NOK 90 million to support its efforts last year.

“We have decided to double our contribution to NOK 180 million for 2013 in order to substantially increase our efforts to create access to work for poor people and to strengthen their rights. Job shortages and unacceptable working conditions are huge obstacles to the world’s economic and social development,” said Mr Holmås.

Last week he presented a new Government white paper on democracy, fair distribution and growth in the context of development policy. It emphasises the importance of strengthening Norway’s efforts to promote labour regulation in developing countries.

“Doubling our support to the ILO is the first concrete step in the follow-up of this white paper. Many poor countries are experiencing economic growth, and wages should increase in line with this growth to ensure fair distribution,” said Holmås.

The additional support includes NOK 15 million to labour organisations and NOK 5 million to the fight against discrimination, with emphasis on gender equality. NOK 20 million will be used to promote youth employment, for efforts in the informal sector, for labour inspection mechanisms, and to enhance protection against unacceptable working conditions, in line with the ILO’s reform agenda.

 

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