News Excerpt
For the first time in the International Labour Organisation’s (ILOs) history, an International Labour Convention has been ratified by all the member States.

•    Convention No. 182 on the ‘Worst Forms of Child Labour’ achieved universal ratification, following ratification by the Kingdom of Tonga.
•    It calls for the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, which includes slavery, forced labour and trafficking.
•    It forbids the use of children under18 years of age in armed conflict, prostitution, pornography, illicit activities such as drug trafficking, and in hazardous work.
•    The convention was adopted by ILO member states meeting in Geneva in 1999.
•    The Convention complements the ILO’s efforts under the 1973 Minimum Age Convention to prevent the employment of children below a lower age threshold.
•    Under the influence of both these ILO standards, millions of young boys and girls have been rescued from hazardous conditions of work. Concomitantly, these have resulted in significant increases in enrolments in primary education.

About ILO
    It is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) dedicated to improving labour conditions and living standards throughout the world.
    Established in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles as an affiliated agency of the League of Nations, the ILO became the first affiliated specialized agency of the UN in 1946. In recognition of its activities, the ILO was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1969.
    The functions of the ILO include the development and promotion of standards for national legislation to protect and improve working conditions and standards of living.
    The ILO also provides technical assistance in social policy and administration and in workforce training; fosters cooperative organizations and rural industries; compiles labour statistics and conducts research on the social problems of international competition, unemployment and underemployment, labour and industrial relations, and technological change; and helps to protect the rights of international migrants and organized labour.
    At present the ILO has 186 Members.
    India is a founder member of the International Labour Organization, which came into existence in 1919.
    There are 47 ILO conventions and 1 protocol ratified by India. Out of those, 39 are in force, 5 Conventions and 0 Protocol have been denounced; 4 instruments abrogated.

“8”Fundamental Conventions of ILO
1.    Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948  
2.    Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949  
3.    Forced Labour Convention, 1930
4.    Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957
5.    Minimum Age Convention, 1973  
6.    Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999  
7.    Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951  
8.    Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958

An estimated 152 million are trapped in child labour and 72 million of them are engaged in hazardous work. Current efforts would have to be stepped up significantly to achieve the ambitious goal of total abolition of the scourge of child labour by 2025.

International Labour Organisation, League of Nations, For more info on labour issues refer Current Connect May, 2020, Kingdom of Tonga

Indian Constitutional Provisions
Article 21:The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 6 to 14 years in such manner as the State, by law, may determine.
Article 24 Prohibition of Employment of Children’s in Factories:No child below the age fourteen years shall be employed in work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.
Article 39 The state shall in Particular direct its policy towards securing, that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength.