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In October 1997, when global leaders gathered in Oslo to strategize how to end child labor, we brought a huge (1) and a deep commitment to change. Through improved collaboration and planning, we sought to protect children from (2) , and to develop “new strategies to eliminate child labor at the national, regional, and international levels.”
Now, 20 years later, it is time to ask: how have we done?
Poorly. Since that first meeting, the world has not even halved the number of children in the workforce. In the last five years, the international community has managed to reduce the number of employed children by just 16 million, the slowest pace of (3) in decades. Of the 152 million children working today, some 73 million are doing jobs considered (4) . Even “safe” child labor affects victims’ physical and physiological wellbeing long into adulthood.
Worse, according to the most recent data from the International Labor Organization, the world has made the least progress in protecting two of the most at-risk populations: children between the ages of five and 11, and young girls.
The problem is not that we have failed to learn anything during our four global gatherings (the most recent one, held in Buenos Aires, wrapped up earlier this month). The problem is that we have failed, and are failing, to take our own advice.
Even as we talk, (5) global developments have added a (6) twist to child labor and trafficking. This was supposed to be the century of empowerment for the most marginalized. Instead, we are (7) globalization of the most (8) kind, with children becoming victims many times over.
Because traffickers can easily prey amid chaos, children in conflict zones are particularly (9) . Syria has commanded attention for years because of the horrific violence to which children there are subjected. But the global rise of organized gangs means that children in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe are also at risk. Stemming this trend requires urgent and coordinated investment in education and safety wherever children are at risk – in (10) zones, refugee camps, and in areas affected by natural disasters.
- 1) snowy
- 1) foster
- 1) nourish
3) ceremoniousness4) sparkling
- 1) hazardous
4) vanilla5) virtue
- 1) diffidence
3) immaculate4) hedging
- 1) speckless
- 1) conversing
3) avert4) witnessing
- 1) consulting
- 1) decorum
3) entrench4) vulnerable
- 1) conflict