Children are our future. Every culture should cherish the development of its children, but in all too many places on earth children are an economic resource for their families - sent out to work or even sold. In many countries children are deprived by poverty of the opportunity to be educated and grow up to choose their own futures. And there are many other countries in which children are simply alone and must support themselves as street children - more and more often, as a consequence of the loss of the adults around them because of AIDS.
I wrote for he ILO Committee of Experts the first 'General Survey' on child labour in 1981, and since then have kept close to the situation as the ILO increased its work on the issue with its International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) and the adoption of the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1998 (No. 182). After the UN adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989 I wrote a comparative analysis of ILO and UN provisions on the subject, and intend to write more to develop the study of the subject.