News/US: Senate Ratifies International Child Labor Treaty

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Subject: News/US: Senate Ratifies International Child Labor Treaty
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon Nov 22 1999 - 10:27:43 EST


                 Senate Ratifies International Child Labor Treaty

RTos 11/6/99 6:30 AM

Copyright 1999 Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved.
The following news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole
or in part, without the prior written consent of Reuters Ltd.

     WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Friday unanimously agreed to
ratify an international treaty banning the worst child labor abuses such as
slavery, a move President Clinton said would help put a human face on the
global economy.
      "With this action, the Senate has declared on behalf of the American
people that we simply will not tolerate the worst forms of child labor --
child slavery, the sale or trafficking of children, child prostitution or
pornography, forced or compulsory child labor and hazardous work that harms
the health, safety and morals of children," Clinton said in a statement
after the Senate action.
      "With this action, the United States continues as a world leader in
the fight to eliminate exploitative and abusive child labor," Clinton
added. "This also is another important step forward in our continuing
efforts to put a human face on the global economy."
      The child labor convention was adopted unanimously by the
International Labor Organization (ILO) in June. It is intended to protect
those younger than 18 from child slavery, forced labor, trafficking, debt
bondage, serfdom, prostitution, pornography and exploitative work in
industries using dangerous machinery and hazardous substances."
      Clinton spoke to the U.S. organization, the first U.S. president to do
so, in June and gave his strong support for the child labor treaty.
      The U.S. Senate approved the treaty unanimously by voice vote.
      Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who pushed for adoption of the ILO
treaty, called it an historic step toward protecting children.
      "I believe strongly that child laborers should be moved out of the
factories and fields and into classrooms," he said in a statement following
the Senate vote.

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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