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Global convention to ban worst form
- Subject: Global convention to ban worst form
- From: suriya@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 06:37:00
Subject: Global convention to ban worst forms of child labour
May 26, 1999
Global convention to ban worst forms of child labour
Pact seen unlikely to help Thai children
The International Labour Organisation is set to adopt a convention immediately
banning the worst forms of child labour.
At the 87th session of the International Labour Conference on June 1-17 in
Geneva, representatives from 174 member states are expected to set out
to eradicate child slavery, forced labour, trafficking, debt bondage, serfdom,
prostitution, pornography and various forms of hazardous and exploitative
The drive is aimed at all children under the age of 18. According to ILO
estimates, some 250 million children aged five to 14 work in developing
countries alone. About 120 million work full-time while the rest combine work
Juan Somavia, the ILO secretary-general, said: "The nightmarish vision of
and boys toiling in mines, sold for prostitution and pornography, enslaved and
trafficked like chattel or exposed to hazardous work has pushed child
the top of the international agenda. Ending these exploitative practices is
of the most important issues of our time."
Sanphasit Koompraphant, director of the Centre for the Protection of
Rights, said he doubted the convention could help in Thailand because it does
not cope with the root of the problems.
"There are many factors which drive small children out of their homes to find
jobs. Sometimes it is their own families," he said.
Most child prostitutes enter the sex trade voluntarily and keep a low profile
for fear of arrest, said Mr Sanphasit.
"No matter how tough the law or measures, the problem will never be solved
unless the children are offered alternatives. The best solution is to deal
the children directly," he said.
Senator Wallop Tangananurak, a child rights activist, said it was difficult to
estimate the number of child prostitutes nationwide, but he cited a 1992
government report which indicated Thai child prostitutes aged under 18
between 30,000-60,000. The figure is expected to be significantly higher by
© Copyright The Post Publishing Public Co., Ltd. 1999
Last Modified: Wed, May 26, 1999
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