A critical assessment of the minimum age convention 138 of 1973 and the worst forms of child labour convention 182 of 1999

12 March 2014

The International Labour Organisation (the ILO) has regulated child labour through the Minimum Age Convention and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention. Such conventions aim at the reduction and eventual elimination of harmful labour practices. After the ratification of such conventions, many countries have adopted domestic laws prohibiting harmful labour. Despite such regulations, statistics prove that children still participate in harmful work. The main purpose of this article is to assess the ILO child labour conventions critically, so as to provide further understanding of the provisions of the text of such instruments. While the aim of the Minimum Age Convention was the progressive eradication of child labour, the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention recognises the existence of tolerable forms of child labour, and it seeks to eliminate the worst forms of child labour.