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Radio station stages marathon against child labour in Tajikistan

By: Anna Malikova Posted: August-19-2009 in
Anna Malikova

DUSHANBE – A 16-hour marathon staged by a radio station in Dushanbe June 12 marked World Day against Child Labour. Radio listeners heard educational programmes, competitions, quizzes, social promotions, and calls from well-respected people speaking out against the use of child labour. Mobile groups distributed informational material in the streets of the capital that addressed the problem of child labour in Tajikistan.

According to International Labour Organisation (ILO) expert Muhai Hosabekova, the highest percentage of child labourers in Tajikistan is found in the Gorno-Badakhshansk autonomous region where they constitute 15 percent of the labour force, followed by 12 percent in the Hatlonsk and Sogdish regions and four percent in Dushanbe. There are 2.5 million children under the age of 18 in Tajikistan, which is 37 percent of the nation’s population of 7 million.

A recent ILO document affirmed that the current global financial crisis has generated an increase in the number of child labourers, underage girls in particular. The document stated that 100 million girls are currently being forced to work; more than half of them doing dangerous jobs. It also claims that girls are frequently forced to work as prostitutes and are sold as slaves.

ILO experts emphasise that child labour leads to increased national poverty. Working children do not attend school and are subjected to health dangers. Without education and in poor health, they will be unable to escape poverty as adults. Many of the almost quarter of a billion working youngsters are doing dangerous jobs on farms, plantations and in mines where they are exposed to chemicals and pesticides. Some children work with equipment that is very dangerous, and unfortunately children are also frequently used as soldiers in armed conflicts.

Source: Central Asia Online

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