The International Labour Organisation (ILO) warns that a high number of children are still caught in hazardous work. A new report says that some 115 million children, more than half of the 215 million child labourers worldwide, do hazardous work.
The report also indicates that the largest proportion of children in hazardous work relative to the overall number of children in the region is in sub-Saharan Africa. But the largest number of children in hazardous work is in Asia. In Pakistan for instance, despite the existence of child labour laws, the fate of children has not improved.
The international community says it hopes to eliminate the problem by 2016. Is that realistic? Isn’t working, even in hazardous conditions, the least of two evils? Do children in poor countries have other options?
Folly Bah Thibault discusses with Susan Gunn, the author of the ILO report on Child Labour in Hazardous Work from Geneva; Marco Manacorda, an economics professor at Queen Mary University of London and researcher at the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics from London; and Vandana Shiva, an ecologist and anti-poverty activist from New Delhi, India.