Africa: US Moves to Eliminate Child Labour, 3/23/1999

Africa: US Moves to Eliminate Child Labour, 3/23/1999

AFRICA: US moves to eliminate child labour

NAIROBI, 23 March (IRIN) - The US has announced it is to provide US $7.5 million to fund programmes aimed at eliminating exploitative child labour in Africa.

"This is the largest investment ever made by the United States in fighting abusive child labour in Africa," US Labour Secretary Alexis M. Herman said. "By partnering with nations throughout the African continent, we can give working children a real chance at an education and a real future."

A statement from the Department of Labour noted that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates 80 million children work in Africa, accounting for 32 percent of the world's working minors.

The NGO, Oxfam International, on Monday predicted that by 2015, three quarters of children not attending school would be in sub-Saharan Africa. In a report, it noted that this was the only region where the number of unschooled children was growing.

The ILO has an ongoing programme against child labour, targeting primarily children in hazardous working conditions, children who are particularly vulnerable (below 12 years of age) and working girls. The US will channel its funds through this International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC).

Forty-one percent of all African children between 5 and 14 years of age are engaged in some form of economic activity, the US statement noted. It said prostitution and trafficking of children were common.

The ILO says commercial agriculture accounts for much of the child labour on the continent. "For millions of working children it is a cruel denial of childhood," it points out.


Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 13:19:22 +0300 (EAT) From: IRIN - Central and Eastern Africa <> Subject: AFRICA: US moves to eliminate child labour [19990324]

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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