Child labour harms the physical and mental development of children, depriving them of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity. For their future and for the world’s future, everyone must do more to combat child labour and protect children from this scourge. June 12 is the World Day Against Child Labor, and 2021 is the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. The US government pledged to renew our commitment to end child labour and call upon our international partners to do the same.
Last year, the Convention on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour became the first convention ratified by every member of the International Labor Organization (ILO). The world agrees: Children should not be subjected to hazardous work or criminal exploitation. We have been making progress to protect children from exploitation. Since 2000, the number of children involved in child labour around the world steadily decreased. The ILO and UNICEF’s latest estimate, however, shows the first increase in child labour in two decades – the world’s progress combating child labour becoming another victim of the global pandemic
The United States’ trade agreements, trade preference programs, and finance programs are conditioned on governments taking steps to enforce child labour and other labour laws. The Department of State continues to monitor and report on child labour in the annual Human Rights Report and Trafficking in Persons Report, and contributes to the Department of Labour’s annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, the most comprehensive global report on this subject. The United States is committed to continuing its fight to end these practices and protect children around the world.