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Director of the ILO: "Latin America has a pending issue with labor informality"

Latin America has "made a lot of progress" in the fight against child labor but still has a pending issue: that of informality in the labor market, he said in an interview with Efe. in Buenos Aires the director of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder.

Buenos Aires, Nov 15 (EFE) .- Latin America has "made a lot of progress" in the fight against child labor but still has a pending issue: informality in the labor market, Guy Ryder, Director of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, said in an interview with Efe in Buenos Aires.

"It is the weak point of the continent and it is the issue that we want work and concentrate our efforts "because" informality is a crop for child labor too, "said Ryder, who is in Argentina to participate in the IV World Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labor.

The number of children in this situation in Latin America and the Caribbean decreased from 20 million in 2000 to about 11 million currently, according to the agency, something that, for its director, reflects that the region has improved compared to others like Africa, where progress has "stalled" and it still reaches the "alarming" figure of 72 million.

However, Latin America still has "great challenges" ahead, since almost half of its workers have an informal job and six out of ten young people who enter the labor market do so under these conditions.

In that sense, he considers "very positive" that some countries of the continent have turned the fight against this situation in a "priority", as is the case of Argentina, he stressed.

In addition, he emphasized the fact that after 13 years without official statistics, the Government of Mauricio Macri is going to publish child labor data these days, based on a survey conducted in about 40,000 homes across the country.

"They have decided to identify and understand better what is the reality of child labor in Argentina (...). strategies that are worth, "Ryder said.

According to the newspaper La Nación, this survey will reveal that at least 700,000 children between 5 and 15 years old are in this situation in the country. austral.

For the director of the ILO, the most characteristic thing is that the majority is engaged in intensive domestic tasks and that it affects girls more than boys, on the contrary of what is happening globally.

In addition, he pointed out that Argentina "has to take care" of the issue of the "care economy" because it is often the minors who have the to take care of their brothers when their parents go to work.

To address this situation and the rest of the countries of the world, hundreds of companies, representatives of civil society and Governments of 193 nations will meet until Thursday at the conference organized by the Argentine Ministry of Labor with the support of the ILO, which is held in a Buenos Aires building. Aires.

"I think we are going to hear a unanimous message, a universal message, that child labor can no longer be tolerated, that there are no reasons for development or poverty that can justify that children work, "Ryder said, before insisting that it is" essential "that a" strong "political document and specific commitments from all parties come out of this meeting. countries.

In this regard, he assured that it is an "obligation" and responsibility of the ILO to ensure that what is agreed upon is "serious" and does not remain a "dead word".

In his opinion, the organization does not have a" westernized "vision of child labor, but takes into account that the conditions and "challenges" are different in every part of the world.

"The commitment to eliminate child labor is not a Western objective: it is universal, it is a challenge assumed by The international community in its integrity, "he said.

As to whether this problem also has a cultural conditioning, Ryder recalled that in certain places and, above all, in "contexts of underdevelopment" is more common, and even defends this situation, something that is enhanced in the rural environment, where 70% of child labor is concentrated.

For him, It is often "difficult" to understand the reasons why minors are working, but "relativizing" their rights is "very dangerous" because "the values ​​and norms are universal "and each child should have the same opportunities, regardless of the context in which they are born.

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