Mexico City – The International Labor Organization has launched its international campaign against child labor at an event in Mexico City attended by local artists, representatives of the U.N. agency said.
Efforts must be made immediately to eliminate the most dangerous types of work involving minors, ILO deputy director for Mexico and Cuba Thomas Wissing said.
About 115 million boys, girls and teenagers are engaged in dangerous work around the world, with boys accounting for about 64 percent of child workers, the ILO said in a statement.
Some 59 percent of dangerous jobs are in agriculture, while 30 percent are in the service sector and 11 percent in industry.
Employment of boys between the ages of 15 and 17 has been trending higher around the world, the ILO said, adding that June 12 was World Day against Child Labor.
Approximately 3 million children work in Mexico, which has a population of 112 million, the U.N. agency said.
A message signed by about a dozen artists urging an end to the use of child labor was read by Paco Familiar, a member of Mexican rock band DLD.
"There is some confusion about what is and what isn't child labor," creating a high level of social tolerance when it comes to this problem, Familiar said.
The situation in Mexico is "unsustainable" because "more than 10 percent of its child population has to work," the rock singer said.
Child workers are unable to get an education and this mortgages "our present and our future," Familiar said.