INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS: Amsterdam Treaty aims to end child labor
The Amsterdam Child Labour Conference started its two-day meeting on Wednesday
to propose an international treaty to end child labor. According to the
International Labor Office, approximately 250 million minors toil in physically
and emotionally stressful jobs.
In 1973, the United Nations created conventions for age and work. It set age 15
as the basic minimum for work, with 13 the minimum for light work and 18 the
minimum for hazardous work. Although many countries have ratified at least some
aspects of that agreement, many of the reforms have not taken hold in some
developing nations, where low living standards force children to add to their
The new child-labor convention sets strict penalties for those who employ the
very young. This convention will be enacted at the International Labor
Conference in 1999 and ratified by individual nations beginning in 2000.
USA Today Online,
This item appeared in the News section of the February 28, 1997 issue.
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