south-north development monitor SUNS [Email Edition]

SUNS #4455, Tuesday ,15 June 1999


Labour: Convention on Worst Forms of Child Labour readied (Chakravarthi Raghavan, Geneva)

Venezuela: Thousands of children must work to survive (IPS, Caracas)

Health: Andean meet sounds alert on Transgenics (IPS, Quito)

Brazil: Debate rages on genetically-altered seeds (IPS, Rio de Janeiro)

Latin America: EU protectionism endangers Rio Summit (IPS, Brussels)

Environment: Global warming no longer an emotional issue (IPS, Bonn)

United States: More chastened than triumphant over Kosovo (IPS, Washington)

Some excerpts from selected articles:

Labour: Convention on Worst Forms of Child Labour readied

Geneva, 14 June (Chakravarthi Raghavan) -- A conference committee of the International Labour Organization was due to adopt Monday its report to the current 87th session of the Conference for adoption by the Conference of a Convention and Recommendations on the Worst Forms of Child Labour.

A subject of intense debate at the Conference, the key provisions of the Convention and Recommendations were hammered out in a small informal group of key representatives of governments, employers and workers, and adopted as a package.

The Convention requires ratifying States to take immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency and defines a child as one below 18.

The Convention specifies certain "forms" of child labour as the "worst forms" to be eliminated, but leaves, for national legislation, some other forms which by the nature or circumstances in which it is carried out is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.

Abandoning the unrealistic objective of abolishing such worst forms by legislation immediately, the Convention rather requires ratifying countries "to take immediate and effecgive measures" towards this end. A separate provision requires each Member to design and implement programmes of action to eliminate as a priority the worst forms of child labour - with such programs being designed and implemented in consultation with relevant government institutions, employers and workers organizations, and taking into consideratiion views of other concerned groups as appropriate.

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