ILO: Child labor rampant in eastern Indonesia
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Staff at the Education and Child of the Labour International Labour Organization (ILO), Dede Sudono, said most of the 2.3 million child laborers in the country are found in the eastern region of Indonesia.
“Areas such as Java and Jakarta have actually lower numbers,” said Dede in a discussion at the Bumbu Village, Cikini, Jakarta, Sunday, June 24, 2012.
ILO categorizes children working at aged 7-14 years as child labor. In 2009 the Understanding Children's Work (UCW) agency reported that 2.3 million children in Indonesia were workers.
Dede said nearly half of them were working in the agricultural sector, the rest worked in the service and manufacturing sectors. Generally, the child workers are boys. One third of children working in the service sector are domestic helpers. “Servants are mostly female,” said Dede.
Head of the Sub-Directorate of Child Labour Supervision Unit, Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, Hendar Rahman, said the government was trying to pull child laborers from work. The government plans to stop 10,750 children from working in 2012 and 11 thousand children the following year. They would be returning to school. From year to year, he said, the number of child laborers returning to school has been increasing.
In 2008, of 300 children, only 24 percent returned, whereas in 2011, of 3,360 children, 98 percent returned. Hendar acknowledged that the number set by the government of children to be pulled from work and returned to education was still low. He also acknowledged that efforts were required of many parties, inter-ministerial or with non-governmental organizations, to save the kids.
By Ananda Badudu
25 June 2012