Every year the World Day Against Child Labour reminds us how far behind we still are when it comes to eradicating child labour. In Myanmar, the labour law states that children aged between 14 and 18 can be recruited for employment, with some exceptions, and labels a number of sectors as hazardous for children. For example, working hours per day for them should not be more than 4 hours. They should be employed with recommendations of a doctor and no children should work in hazardous conditions.
Child labour issue is one of the challenges of Myanmar.
Youth and children who support the production resources are used in most of the developing countries, especially in a developing country like Myanmar, which is connected to poverty and can be seen employing child labour.
There’s little scope for these children to acquire necessary education or skills to escape the vicious cycle of poverty. In the process, they are being robbed of their childhood and a decent future.
The global population of youth who can work is 18 per cent, that is some 1 billion, and the world’s youth are seen to be facing the negative effects of differences in economical, social, technological and cultural environment in the countries within a region and in the society.
There are some 152 million children between 5 and 17 years in the world, of which 7.4 per cent live in the Asia-Pacific region, and some 70.9 per cent work in the agricultural sector. Of these, some 73 million are working in dangerous places.
Some 85 per cent of the world’s youth are in developing countries, and 60 per cent are in the Asian region. Youth and children’s development sectors are important in determining the future of a country and are valuable resources for the country.
Everyone knows that the government is reforming with increased momentum the development of the political, economic and social sectors, while prioritising the achievement of countrywide peace.
Similar to other regional ASEAN countries, Myanmar ratified the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labour and can be seen cooperating with ILO and the UNICEF.
To reduce hazardous child labour, not only the government but also the CSOs, labour organizations and business institutions have a responsibility to carry out the task.
All are urged to actively cooperate with each other against hazardous child labour in Myanmar.