Convention 182 on The Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999

Convention 182 on The Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999

Presentation of the Convention

Convention 182 was introduced by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and unanimously adopted by the organisation’s members on 17 June 1999 in Geneva.

The origins of Convention 182

According to ILO estimates, more than 250 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are forced to work to survive and provide for their families. More than 70% work in dangerous conditions.

What is more, these statistics do not take into account the “invisible” child workers, of which there are a million, hidden by their employers and subject to working conditions verging on slavery.

This alarming situation drove the ILO to introduce a new convention and a series of action plans aimed at eliminating the worst forms of child labour.

Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour and Recommendation R 190 on the immediate action needed to eliminate it were unanimously adopted by the ILO Member States on 17 June 1999 before coming into effect on 19 November 2000.

Content of the Convention

Convention 182 outlines the 5 worst forms of labour that must be eradicated in order to step up the fight against child labour. They are as follows:

  • Slavery or similar practices, such as the sale or trade of children or the use of children in debt bondage or serfdom;
  • Obligatory or forced work, including the compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflicts;
  • The recruitment, use or offer of a child for involvement in prostitution, pornographic material or pornographic shows;
  • The use, recruitment or offer of a child for illicit activities, notably in the production or trafficking of drugs, as defined in the specific international treaties;
  • Work which, by its very nature or the conditions in which it is undertaken, is likely to jeopardise the health, safety or morality of children.

The International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), created by the ILO in 1992, supports the State members in implementing the necessary measures to eliminate these worst forms of work. The IPEC equally outlines child labour violation cases where support can be given to child victims and tailored solutions provided to each situation.