The international community has fought the practice of child labor for the past four decades. National and international laws make the use of child labor a crime. Nonetheless, enforcement is elusive, which is why GoodWeave has increased its efforts to end child labor in the South Asian handmade carpet industry, where child labor is prevalent.
Following is a list of laws crafted to eliminate the practice of child labor.
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS PROHIBITING CHILD LABOR AND SETTING AGE STANDARDS
Minimum Age Convention 138 (C138), 1973
Adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1973, C138 binds ratifying countries to pursue a national policy for the abolition of child labor and to progressively raise the minimum age for employment or work to a level consistent with the fullest physical and mental development of young persons. This minimum age should be 15 years, or the age reached by the completion of compulsory schooling. According to the convention, the minimum age for work that is likely to jeopardize the health, safety or morals of young persons is 18. To date, 144 countries have ratified C138, including Nepal in 1997. India and Pakistan are yet to ratify Convention 138. To learn more about C138, click here.
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights for children, including civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural. Article 32 states that children have the right to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. The Convention is the most universally accepted human rights instrument in history and has been ratified by 192 countries––every country in the world except two, the United States and Somalia. Click here to learn more about the CRC.
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention 182 (C182), 1999
On June 17, 1999, the ILO adopted Convention 182, which calls for immediate and effective measures to prohibit and eliminate the worst forms of child labor. “Child” applies to all persons under the age of 18. “The worst forms of child labor” refers to child slavery, forced labor, trafficking, debt bondage, serfdom, prostitution, pornography and forms of work that harm the health, safety or morals of children. To date, 160 countries have ratified ILO Convention 182, including Nepal in 2002. India is yet to ratify Convention 182. To learn about C182, click here.