Cyril Ramaphosa opens the World Labor Conference

South Africa has hosted the Fifth World Conference on the Abolition of Child Labor since Sunday 15 May. It is an important meeting less than three years before the goal of ending the exploitation of young people set for 2025 is reached. In the next few days, delegates will try to take stock of the progress made since 2017, the date of the most recent the meeting.

Ending child labor affecting 160 million young people worldwide, and this, within three years, is not won, admits South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who opened Sunday conference.

“The numbers for child labor are constantly increasing, especially among the youngest. And these children can not go to school because they have to work for their families, take care of an elderly parent or grandparent, or work on the farm or do all sorts of other tasks.

Child labor in all its forms is a scourge. For many people, the words “child labor” evoke images of young people working hard in sweatshops or informal factories, but there is also a hidden side that is not visible: children reduced to home slavery by their families. One of the most important challenges is that the terrible material conditions facing millions of families around the world put them in a dilemma. When life is about survival and families struggle to make ends meet, their children are often forced to drop out of school to support themselves to support their parents. It is our duty and our responsibility, as members of the international community, to ensure that no parent ever ends up in such a situation.

Cyril Ramaphosa: “Child labor in all its forms is a scourge”

Roads ahead Cyril Ramaphosa points to a new form of home slavery that reduces poor children to forced labor. Poverty has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, he said. To address this problem, several avenues are mentioned: better social protection for children and the real establishment of free education. On Friday, the delegates are expected to adopt a statement summarizing the measures to be taken, the Durban Declaration.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), which organizes this event, another 8 million children should be forced to work due to poverty.

Eliminating child labor is an integral part of our journey as the international community towards achieving social justice, human rights and the protection of the most vulnerable. # EndChildLabour https://t.co/GbILkvLY8E

– Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) May 15, 2022

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