Three million child workers in Indonesia

Jakarta, April 20 | Updated: Apr 21 2005, 05:30am hrs
Indonesia is determined to eradicate the problem of child labour with three million child workers still engaged in various sectors in the country.

The Indonesian government has a strong commitment to eradicate the sufferings of child workers, minister of manpower and trans-migration Fahmi Idris said in Jakarta on Tuesday at a meeting with executive director of the International Labour Organization for standards and principles and basic rights at places of work, Kari Tapiola. The commitment would be stronger with ILO support, he said. Many child workers are reportedly employed in many places in Java and Sumatera islands because the two islands have most of the population in the country. The problem of employment of child workers is mainly caused by minimum education and the low welfare of their families.

In 2001, Indonesia issued a Presidential decree No 12 of 2001 on a national action committee for eradication of the worst form of suffering of child workers, which forbids the employment of children in five cases, namely at offshore rigs, deep sea diving, prostitution, mining, footwear industry, and narcotics industry.

When asked about the condition of child workers in Indonesia compared to those in other countries, Mr Kari said the progress of a country cannot be compared to that of another country but the situation in Indonesia is already favourable, as its government is already committed to overcome the problem.