- India has ratified two key ILO conventions on child labour concerning the elimination of child labour, the Minimum Age Convention (No 138) and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No 182).
- India is the 170th ILO member state to ratify convention No 138 and 181st member to ratify convention No. 182.
Minimum Age Convention(Convention 138 of international labour organisation):
- This convention was developed to regulate child labour by setting a minimum age for admission to employment that the signatories are to respect.
- This Convention came into force on 19 June 1976. The minimum working age was set at 15 years (13 years for light work). For dangerous work, the Convention set the bar for admission to employment at 18 years (16 years under certain conditions).
- The Convention allows developing countries, whose economy and educational facilities are insufficiently developed, to temporarily set the minimum age for admission to employment at 14 years. This decision must be thoroughly justified.
- Convention 138 aims to give children the right to live their childhoods. A child who is not working has a better chance of developing properly, both physically and mentally, and thus becoming a healthy adult.
- To ensure the Convention is respected, the ILO has established certain control mechanisms. Committees of experts monitor the Convention’s application and examine the progress reports members are obliged to submit.
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention:
- The Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, known in short as the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, was adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1999.
- By ratifying this Convention, a country commits itself to taking immediate action to prohibit and eliminate the worst forms of child labour.
- The ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) is responsible for assisting countries in this regard as well as monitoring compliance. One of the methods used by IPEC to assist countries in this regard are Time-bound Programmes.
- The convention includes forms of child labour, which are predefined worst forms of child labour. They are also sometimes referred to as automatic worst forms of child labour.