The illusion of the gap: ratification and implementation of ILO fundamental convention on the abolition of child labour in Cameroon

Authors: Siona Ndeh Cynthia* & Oyegoke Teslim Bukoye**


One of the fundamental principles laid down in the ILO’s 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work is the effective abolition of child labour, enshrined within Convention 138 on Minimum age and Convention 182 on the Worst forms of Child labour. The effective implementation of this principle will guarantee the full mental and physical development of every child. This will also increase the quality of work performed. Moreover, the stipulated right to education granted to these individuals would develop their competencies and skills copiously. The eradication of such practices is treated by the ILO as a matter of urgency and states are obligated to develop national strategies and policies to abolish this shameful practice. However, it is evident from the gaps identified in the legislation that the Cameroonian framework needs to be improved to cover other modern day forms of child labour practices such as child domestic labour, particularly within the informal sector. The study equally brings to light salient issues such as poverty, technology and poor economic circumstances which contribute towards the practice of child labour and major road blocks in the process of implementation of this core labour standard. Consequently, this study substantiates the fact that in practice, a gap exists between ratification and actual implementation of this labour standard. Moreover, it underscores the fact that besides incorporating provisions on the elimination of forced labour in its Constitution and Labour Code, the Cameroonian government should supplement its efforts to address child labour related issues and adopt relevant socio-economic policies whose implementation would discourage the practice thereof in all forms.


Keywords: Child, labour, ratification, implementation, work.


*Researcher, Cardiff School of Management, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales, United Kingdom. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
**Senior Lecturer, Department of Management and Business Systems, University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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