Canada ratifies global treaty to eliminate child labour

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Canada has officially ratified an international treaty that seeks to eliminate child labour and ensure children do not leave school to join the workforce full time.

MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced on Wednesday in Geneva the Government of Canada’s ratification of the International Labour Organization’s Minimum Age Convention, 1973.

The Convention requires ratifying member states to set a minimum age for employment of at least 15 years and to prohibit hazardous work for young workers under the age of 18, unless specific measures are put in place.

Mihychuk said: “Ratifying Convention 138 sends a clear message about Canada’s interests and values. We stand together with countries around the world denouncing child labour, exploitation and abuse. Canadian leadership can have a positive influence in the world, and ratifying Convention 138 is the right thing to do.”

Ratifying Convention 138 (as it is also known) is part of the Government of Canada’s plan to strengthen Canada’s place in the world and rebuild our international influence. Last month, Minister Mihychuk attended a G7 meeting for ministers of education in Japan where she pursued opportunities for Canadian leadership in education, training, apprenticeships and skills development.

Ratifying Convention 138 is not expected to negatively impact Canadian businesses and operations such as family farms, or part-time work by Canadian teens working at babysitting, camp counselling or other similar jobs.

The Convention will come into force 12 months from today, in June 2017.

  • Convention 138 is one of eight fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) that are considered core to promoting decent work.
  • Canada joins 168 countries around the world that have also ratified Convention 138.
  • The ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that sets international labour standards, encourages decent employment opportunities, enhances social protection and strengthens dialogue on work-related issues. Canada is one of the 187 member states of the ILO.
  • International labour standards take the form of conventions and protocols, which are legally binding international treaties subject to ratification by member states, and recommendations, which provide non-binding guidance. They influence labour laws and practices in ILO member states and contribute to improved labour and employment conditions for workers globally. – CNW
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