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World Day Against Child Labour: End Child Labour In Supply Chains

Photo: Getty Images/Panos/Gallery Stock

“Child labour has no place in well-functioning and well regulated markets, or in any supply chain. The message that we must act now to stop child labour once and for all has been affirmed by the Sustainable Development Goals. Acting together, it is within our means to make the future of work a future without child labour."

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General

The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002, to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.

Each year on 12 June, the World Day brings together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them. 

End Child Poverty recognises that poverty is a multi-dimensional and inter-generational challenge. And this poverty acts as a driving force towards child labour. We call on deliberate efforts and actions by faith actors, businesses, governments and the wider global community, in addressing poverty and all root causes of child labour. This year we mark World Day of Child Labour, which focuses on child labour and supply chains.

As economies become ever more integrated and the revolution in information and communications technology continues, the world is getting smaller at the same time that supply chains are getting more complex. The challenge that employers face to demonstrate that they respect human rights, to act with due diligence to avoid infringing the rights of others and to address adverse impacts that occur, has never been clearer. How to do this in contexts of widespread informality, insufficient law enforcement and persistent poverty, however, is far from simple.

Child labour is a case in point: despite rapid gains in recent years, there are still 168 million child labourers in the world today, across all regions and sectors. More than 70% of these children are between 5 and 14 years old. Furthermore, between 20% - 30% of children from low-income countries become child labourers by the age of 15.

The ILO and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) have thus created a Child Labour Guidance Tool to act as a resource for companies to meet the due diligence requirements laid out in The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), as they pertain to child labour. This resource aims to drive further engagement and collaboration, and add fresh impetus to the universal goal: the elimination of all forms of child labour.

Click here to download the full ILO-IOE child labour guidance tool for business.

And don't forget to join the coversation using #NoChildLabour to share your knowledge and views on this serious issue.