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"Red Card to Child Labour" campaign
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Saturday, 26 January 2002
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) will launch its "Red Card to Child
Labour" campaign this week to coincide with the start of the 2002 African Cup
of Nations that begins Saturday (Jan. 19th) in Bamako, Mali.
The new campaign against the use of child labour is symbolized by the red card
handed out by referees for serious violations of rules on the soccer field.

The ILO, which aims to take its initiative worldwide to include the World Cup,
will formally launch the campaign at a signing ceremony Friday involving President
Alpha Oumar Konare of Mali and cosponsors from the Confédération africaine de
football (CAF) and the Comité dorganisation de la Coupe dAfrique des Nations
(COCAN) 2002.

"Child labour is neither a sport nor a pastime," said ILO Director-General Juan
Somavia. "Child labourers work hard - on the farms, in mines and quarries, or
as domestic servants. Some are trafficked into slave-like conditions or prostitution.
Millions are condemned to lifelong poverty and despair. Now, working hand in
hand with the worlds most popular sport, we hope to galvanize the global campaign
against child labour with this potent symbol - the red card that means youre
out of the game."

The initiative aims to seize on the popularity of the African Cup of Nations
2002 to generate the widest possible public awareness of the harsh reality of
child labour and encourage people to support the global movement against it.
The campaign adds a new, symbolic element to the global struggle against child
labour, exemplified by the rapid ratification by over 100 countries of ILOs
most recent labour standard, the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention No. 182
adopted in 1999.

While Africa today is home to some 40 per cent, or about 80 million, of the worlds
child workers, the continent has in many ways led the way in the struggle against
child labour, especially in its worst forms. Of the 115 countries ratifying Convention
No. 182, 30 are from Africa, including the first two ratifying states (Seychelles
and Malawi).

Following the launch of the "Red Card" campaign in Africa, the ILO plans to pursue
the initiative to Latin America, Asia and Europe. The ILO International Programme
on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), which is running the campaign, is
active in 75 countries, removing children from abusive child labour, providing
them with rehabilitation and education and providing their families with income-generating

For more information contact the ILO Press Office:

Nick Evans ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Ligia Teixeira ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Tel: 44 20 7828 6401 Ext 203/201
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