About 165 million school age children go to work
Children aged five to 14 work long hours and miss schools, forming a large pool of illiterate adults when they grow up, says labour group.12 June 2008
GENEVA - Up to 165 million children aged 5 to 14 were working long hours and missing school, according to figures published Thursday by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in a new study to mark World Day against Child Labour.
World Day against Child Labour is 12 June.
Because they missed out on learning, the chances of a better future and a decent job through education were permanently out of reach for them, said the report.
As they become adults, many of these children would become part of a large pool of unemployed and underemployed youth.
The ILO, representing employers and workers from 181 countries, called for education for all during its annual conference in Geneva.
Participation in basic education was the "stepping-stone" on which individuals could build their "own future success," said the study.
Primary education for all children was one of the Millennium Development Goals set by the UN aimed at cutting world poverty, starvation and improving health by 2015 - but progress has been mixed.
Since the goals were adopted in 2000, more than 70 million children were still not enrolled in primary education. Secondary education attendance was below half for boys and girls. The situation was worse in sub-Saharan Africa where only a fifth of children attended school.
The ILO report noted that 96 million young women and 57 million young men were considered illiterate.
The ILO said it was seeking support from its members on the need to promote basic education as a human right and an indispensable foundation for employability.
[dpa / Expatica]