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South Africa to host international conference to tackle child labour

JOHANNESBURG (XINHUA) – South Africa is going to host the International Labour Organization (ILO) Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour later this month, announced Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi on Thursday.

“The time is therefore opportune for the global community to converge on African soil to find solutions that will help our continent, in particular, to deal with the reported highest prevalence and the largest number of working children,” Nxesi said.

South Africa reported nearly 600,000 children employed in child labour in 2015, with children aged 16-17 years more likely to be employed in child labour than other age groups. Globally, more than 160 million children were still working as child labour, according to the ILO.

Approximately a third of these children are not in school. The agriculture sector was credited with accounting for the largest proportion of child labour around the world.

Director of the ILO Decent Work Team for Eastern and Southern Africa Joni Musabayana said Africa was one of the most child labour-burdened regions in the world, and the conference must come up with solutions to deal with key drivers.