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Historic ratification

  • 14 August, 2020

  • 10 Min Read

Historic ratification


  • Ratification of Convention no.182(Worst forms of Child labour) of the International Labour Organization by Tonga.
  • There are 8 Conventions of ILO to regulate child labour and forced labour.

Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182):

  • 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 as ILO Convention No 182.
  • It is one of eight ILO fundamental conventions which are:
    • The Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)
    • The Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)
    • The Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87)
    • The Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98)
    • The Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100)
    • The Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111)
    • The Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138)
    • The Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)
  • Under Convention No 182, a country commits itself to taking immediate action to prohibit and eliminate the worst forms of child labour.
  • Convention 182 prohibits the sexual exploitation of children, trafficking, deployment in armed conflict and other conditions that compromise their overall well-being.

Recently, Tonga formally deposited the ratification instruments for the ILO Convention No 182.

  • This marks a historic event as it is the first time for an International Labour Convention to be ratified by all member states. This marks the first universal ratification of a global labour standard.
  • India ratified Convention 182 and the instrument prescribing the minimum age of work for children in 2017. This signals India’s commitment to eliminate child labour.


  • The Convention no 182 complements the ILO’s efforts under the 1973 Minimum Age Convention to prevent the employment of children below a lower age threshold.
  • The ILO Convention no 138, concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, requires the ratifying states to pursue a national policy designed to ensure the effective abolition of child labour and to raise progressively the minimum age for admission to employment or work.
  • Under the influence of Convention no 182 and no 138, millions of young boys and girls have been rescued from hazardous conditions of work. Subsequently, there has been a significant increase in enrolments in primary education.
  • The ILO conventions in general provide the necessary framework to counteract the predominance of informality in the conditions of work.


  • Despite the impressive progress being made in the elimination of child labour, significant challenges remain.
  • An estimated 152 million are trapped in child labour and 72 million of them are engaged in hazardous work. This would entail significant ground to be covered to achieve the ambitious goal of total abolition of child labour by 2025.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to undo the recent gains. COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread job losses, deterioration in conditions of work, decline in household incomes and temporary school closures. These could lead to an increase in child labour.


Source: TH


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