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As the football World Cup in South Africa kicks off, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is to mark the World Day Against Child Labour with an urgent appeal to 'go for the goal, end child labour,' calling particular attention to the target of eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2016.
ILO Director-General, Juan Somavia, said "while billions are caught up in the excitement of the football World Cup, some 215 million children are labouring for survival. Education and play are luxuries for them. Progress towards ending child labour is slowing down and we are not on course to end its worst forms by 2016. We have to get the momentum going again. Let us draw inspiration from the World Cup and rise to the challenge with the energy, the right strategy and the commitment it takes to get to the goal."
The World Day comes one month after more than 450 delegates from 80 countries met at a Conference in The Hague convened by the Government of the Netherlands to agree on a Roadmap to accelerate progress to reach the goal of eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2016. The Roadmap sets out a number of guiding principles and identifies action to be taken by governments, social partners (workers and employers), civil society, non-governmental and other civil society, regional and international organisations.
Agreement on the Roadmap came as the ILO's third Global Report on child labour warned that the global campaign against child labour is at a critical juncture. The Report shows that global efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour are losing momentum, and warns that unless they are significantly stepped up the 2016 target will not be reached.
This target was set in 2006 after positive trends contained in the previous Global Report suggested that the elimination of the worst forms of child labour was possible by 2016.
To read the message by ILO's Director-General Juan Somavia please click here