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Child Labour

ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC)

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that labour peace is essential to prosperity. Today, the ILO helps advance the creation of decent work and the economic and working conditions that give working people and business people a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress. Its tripartite structure, bringing together governments, employers and workers, provides a unique platform for promoting decent work for all women and men. Its main aims are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.

The ILO has worked to eliminate child labour over its 90 year history, adopting internationally recognized standards on child labour and in 1992 establishing the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC).  IPEC’s aim is the progressive elimination of child labour worldwide, with the eradication of the worst forms an urgent priority. Since it began operations, IPEC has worked to achieve this in several ways: through country-based programmes which promote policy reform, build institutional capacity and put in place concrete measures to end child labour; and through awareness raising and mobilization intended to change social attitudes and promote ratification and effective implementation of ILO child labour Conventions. These efforts have resulted in hundreds of thousands of children being withdrawn from work and rehabilitated or prevented from entering the workforce. Complementary to this direct action throughout has been substantial in-depth statistical and qualitative research, policy and legal analysis, programme evaluation and child labour monitoring, which have permitted the accumulation of vast knowledge base of statistical data and methodologies, thematic studies, good practices, guidelines and training materials.

It is clear from IPEC experience that parents and families who are given a viable choice prefer to keep children out of the workplace. Thus, the ILO’s strategies have put increasing emphasis on poverty alleviation as well as expanding and improving institutional mechanisms for education and law enforcement, among other key areas of work. As such, the work of IPEC fits into and supports various development frameworks, such as the Millennium Development Goals, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and the Education for All Initiative.

Timorese Girl with Fresh-Picked Corn

Timorese Girl with Fresh-Picked Corn

International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC9)
International Labour Office
4, Route des Morillons
CH-1211 Geneva 22

Tel : +44 (0) 22 799 8181
Fax : +44 (0) 22 799 8771
Website : www.ilo.org/ipec
E-mail: ipec@ilo.org