ILO urges member nations to end child labour

Helen Shok Jok, Geneva

Director General of the International Labour Organisation, Mr Guy Ryder.

The Director General of the International Labour Organisation Mr Guy Ryder, has stressed the need for member nations to end child labour, a menace which he says has continued to challenge child rights globally.

Ryder made his position known in a statement issued on the sidelines of the 2016 International Labour Congress holding in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said “Child labour has no place in well functioning and well regulated markets, or in any supply chain.

”The message that we must act now to stop child labour once and for all has been affirmed by the Sustainable Development Goals.

”Acting together, it is within our means to make the future of work a future without child labour,”  Ryder said.

The Director-General noted that more than 168 million children globally were still in child labour in all supply chains, ranging from agriculture and manufacturing to services and construction sectors.

In a bid to address the challenge, the ILO and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) have jointly created the Child Labour Guidance Tool.

According to him, the tool will serve as a resource for companies to increase their knowledge and ability to conduct business in line with international labour standards on child labour.

Ryder also noted that the tool mechanism would key into the long experience of ILO’s programme on the elimination of child labour, in partnership with employers.

“The aim is to combat child labour in supply chains and incorporate contributions from a wide variety of companies such as coca-cola.

”In addition, the ILO provides peer-to-peer best practice and knowledge sharing through the Child Labour Platform.

”  he platform aims to identify the obstacles to the implementation of the ILO Conventions on child labour in supply chains, develop practical ways of overcoming these obstacles, and catalyse collective action,” the statement added.

He further said that ending child labour would require collective responsibility of all stakeholders and charged the 5,000 delegates attending the congress to deliberate on the issue as it affects their respective nations.

Nigeria is among the 187 member-nations participating in the 105th session of the congress.

The Nigerian delegation to the conference is led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.

Comrade Ayuba, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC is the leader of workers delegation while Mr Segun Oshinowo is leading employers delegation.