World Day Against Child Labor

World Day Against Child Labor was launched in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labor and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it. This year the theme is children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams.⠀

Today, 152 million children are still in child labor. Although child labor occurs in almost every sector, seven out of every ten is in agriculture. UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7 set by the international community called for an end to child labor in all its forms by 2025. ⠀

There are quite a few remaining challenges still to be resolved to meet this goal. What does this have to do with environmentalism though? Well, our supply chains – for food and products – still regularly include child labor (in addition to the exploitation of many other millions). Alongside this, children are nearly always exposed to environmental health issues whilst working and climate change is now burdening kids in labor too. Where we are in Cambodia with schools that were closed during many sessions due to the impact of the quickly changing climate, young kids instead worked in the fields, construction or markets in 42 degree heat. In the south, their families have been traded in for the brick kiln industry and the kids will learn to work there, inheriting the debt their parents will leave them. In the garment factories there are still children skipping school to earn a tiny flow of income.

Let’s ensure we ask every single company we buy from that their supply chain is free from child – and exploited – labor.