Global Efforts to Eliminate Worst Forms of Child Labor See Mixed Results in 2014
The Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs has released its annual report describing the efforts of 140 countries and territories to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, which is one of the criteria for eligibility for trade benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences, the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act and the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
This report tracks from year to year whether a country has made significant, moderate, minimal or no advancement. For 2014, a record-tying 13 countries are listed as having received an assessment of significant advancement. Ten of these are the same as the previous year (Albania, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda), while Madagascar, Paraguay and Thailand moved up from the moderate advancement category and Albania, Costa Rica and Tunisia dropped from significant advancement to moderate advancement. Fifteen countries improved their assessment level from minimal to moderate advancement (Cabo Verde, Comoros, Republic of Congo, Haiti, Mozambique, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Serbia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Uruguay and Yemen). The report states that 115 of the 140 governments reviewed made at least one meaningful effort.
On the other hand, 20 countries and territories (Armenia, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Burundi, The Gambia, Georgia, Kiribati, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Macedonia, Malawi, Maldives, Mauritius, Russia, Samoa, Senegal, Suriname, Tanzania, and the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) dropped from moderate advancement to minimal advancement, largely due to a lack of efforts in the areas of legislation, government coordination and enforcement. In addition, 11 countries received an assessment of no advancement, eight because no meaningful actions were taken (British Virgin Islands; Falkland Islands; Montserrat; Norfolk Island; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Vanuatu; Christmas Island; and Cocos (Keeling) Island) and three (South Sudan, Eritrea and Uzbekistan) as a result of government complicity in forced child labor.