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Labor Ministry, UN agencies focus on ending child labor

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has released its report on “Ending Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking in Global Supply Chains”.

The report released at Hilton Addis on Wednesday used data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

“Child labor is a global phenomenon. To fight against it, we want to work with donors, employees and governments to ensure there is no exploitation of children – not just at the factories where the finished products are made but throughout the process, from the beginning to the end,” Country Director of ILO Ethiopia, Alexio Musindo, told The Reporter.

According to the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Ergoge Tesfaye (PhD), a slew of reforms has taken place in the nations to help safeguard children from exploitation through the National Anti-Human Trafficking and Smuggling and Migrants Task Force.

“We have increased our budget for labor inspection, raised the minimum age of work from 15 to 16 and continue to distribute essential information to all actors, make access to education to young people”, she said.

A fast growing economy, 2025 is the year Ethiopia is set to become a middle incoming nation, despite all odds through it’s the industrialization of its economy in which the issue of child labour remains an issue.

“The report being launched today supplies updated statistics on the prevalence of child labour in global supply chains,” said Maureen Achieng, IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission. “It estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa has 12 percent and Northern Africa and West Asia have nine percent of the total child labour lined to production in global supply chains. It is added arsenal in our efforts to address this vice in line with commitments under SDG 8.7 to end child labour in all its forms by 2025”.

“Migrant workers continue to be exposed to disproportionate risks of exploitation and abuse when looking for better employment opportunities away from home. Some existing supply chain strategies often fail migrant workers and leading companies are beginning to acknowledge this”, she added.