World day against child labor

Almost one in ten of all children worldwide are in child labor. While the number of children in child labor has declined by 94 million since 2000, the rate of reduction slowed by two-thirds in recent years. Target 8.7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals calls for an end to child labor in all its forms by 2025. _We have a LOT of work still to do. One of the facts that many of us with privilege don’t want to face is that us & our own children thriving is often built on the suffering of others, including other children. It’s a systemic issue but we are part of the system and contribute in our actions particularly in consumption and how we vote. Out of sight, out of mind is quite common. Children in low economic areas that should be attending school and increasing their opportunities are often exploited instead – through physical and mental labor – whether in industry, trafficking, armed forces, farming or sexual services.

World Day Against Child Labor 2020 focuses on the impact of crisis on child labor. The COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic and labor market shock are having a huge impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. Unfortunately, children are often the first to suffer. The crisis can push millions of vulnerable children into child labor. Already, there are an estimated 152 million children in child labour, 72 million of which are in hazardous work. These children are now at even greater risk of facing circumstances that are even more difficult and working longer hours.

This year, the World Day is conducted as a virtual campaign and is being organized jointly with the Global March Against Child Labor and the International Partnership for Cooperation on Child Labor in Agriculture (IPCCLA) .

A joint ILO-UNICEF paper on the impact of COVID-19 on child labor looks at some of the main channels through which the pandemic is likely to affect progress towards the eradication of child labor. One action we can all take? Ask the businesses we buy from about their supply chains. They might not know but the onus is on them to go up further in the chain and figure it out; we are all responsible along the way.