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Number of child workers still high: Bappenas

Rabu, 20 Juni 2012 21:48 WIB | 1.533 Views
Number of child workers still high: Bappenas
A child worker ilustration (special)
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The number of child workers in Indonesia is still high because of poverty, according to National Development Planning Minister Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana.

Armida stated that she would incorporate the child worker issue into the country`s poverty eradication program.

"Child workers are an important issue for all of us. The number of child workers aged below 15 is still high," she said during a discussion at the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) building here on Wednesday.

"The minimum age requirement to enter the Indonesian labor force is 15 and above. However, many children aged below 15 are still employed," Armida noted.

"It is understandable if they do light jobs, for instance, assisting their parents. The most important thing is that their education is not hampered," she said.

However, many children aged below 15 still did jobs which were strictly prohibited under UN conventions and the laws, Armida added.

She said the number of employed children aged 10-14 reached 878,100 and the number of children seeking jobs was 174,500 in 2011.

According to the 2010 population census, there are about 22 million children in the 10-14 age group, Armida stated.

"This means that nearly 5 percent of Indonesian children aged 10-14 are either employed or seeking jobs. I think the number is quite high," she said.

"Such a high number of child workers must draw special attention, because they still have to attend school," Armida explained.

However, she added, the government had developed a number of well-guided and sustainable programs to deal with the child labour issue.(*)