BANGKOK, May 4 (AFP) – Child labor in Asia and the Pacific is declining but the region still has some of the highest concentrations of under-age workers in the world, the International Labour Organisation said on Thursday. The ILO said the number of children working in Asia and Pacific countries fell 3.9 percent from 127 million children in 2000 to 122 million in 2004.
Most of the youngsters have agricultural or domestic-service jobs, the ILO said in its latest report released Thursday.
Worldwide, the child labor force fell 11 percent in the same four-year period, from 246 million to 218 million.
Of these, about 126.3 million are trapped in the worst forms of labor, such as the sex trade, heavy labouring such as mining, military service and drug trafficking.
ILO officials said there was a growing commitment among governments and communities in many Asian countries to end child labour.
“Increased political will, coupled with rising social movements, are taking girls and boys out of workrooms and into classrooms,” said Lin Lean Lim, deputy regional director for the ILO’s Asia-Pacific branch.
Of the 29 countries covered in the region that stretches from Fiji through to China and India, 14 h