Economic crisis threatens to reverse progress made on child labour

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 10 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2528
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    The number of child labourers worldwide fell by only 3% between 2004 and 2008 to 215 million, says a report by the International Labour Organization. Of these more than half (115 million) continue to be exposed to hazardous conditions.

    The agency is concerned that the global economic crisis could further thwart progress and undo the gains made in the global campaign to stem the use of children in the labour market and on meeting the goal of eliminating the worst forms of such labour by 2016.

    Juan Somavia, the agency’s director general, said, “The economic downturn cannot be an excuse for diminished ambition and inaction.

    “Progress is uneven . . . New and large scale efforts are needed. The …

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