Worst Forms Of Child Labor Banned

Twenty-seven countries ratified a treaty banning the worst forms of child labor, making it the largest number of signatories for any labor agreement in a single year, the U.N. labor agency said Wednesday.

Signers of the treaty, approved during the International Labor Organization's annual conference last June, include the United States, Canada, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico.

"This rapid pace of ratification is evidence of the growing support for global action against child labor, particularly its worst forms, and gives us hope that the elimination of this scourge will become a reality for millions of children who face exploitation today," said Juan Somavia, ILO director-general.

The treaty requires states to ban children from working in dangerous jobs such as mining and illegal occupations like prostitution, pornography and drug trafficking. It will come into force on Nov. 19.