ITUC calls on governments to redouble their efforts to eliminate the scourge of child labour. 

  • May 25, 2022

ITUC welcomes conclusions of global conference on the elimination of child labour

The ITUC has welcomed the conclusions of the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour, but called on governments to redouble their efforts to eliminate the scourge of child labour. 

The Conference, held in Durban, South Africa, the 15 to 20 May, adopted a resolution known as the “Durban Call to Action” that includes calls to:

  • make decent work a reality for adults and young people above the minimum age for work by accelerating multi-stakeholder efforts to eliminate child labour, with priority given to the worst forms of child labour;
  • end child labour in agriculture;
  • strengthen the prevention and elimination of child labour, including its worst forms such as forced labour, modern slavery and trafficking in persons, and the protection of survivors through data-driven and survivor-informed policy responses;
  • realise children’s right to education and ensure universal access to free, compulsory, quality, equitable and inclusive education and training;
  • achieve universal access to social protection; and
  • increase financing and international cooperation for the elimination of child labour and forced labour.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “The call to action comes against a background of rising child labour cases, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with around 160 million children trapped in child labour according to global estimates.

“We must remember that SDG goal 8.7 seeks to eliminate child labour by 2025 and forced labour by 2030. But look at the time already? We call on governments to implement the priorities set out in the Durban Call to Action and we want social partners, civil society organisations, development agencies and financers to work together to realise goal 8.7.

“It is great that all ILO members states and their social partners have ratified Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labour, and other child labour conventions are being progressively ratified. The Minimum Age Convention 138 must also be universally ratified. But ratification alone does not address the scourge of child labour.

“It is action, the compliance measures that governments put in place, that will achieve 8.7. These measures must be complemented by investment in jobs, social protection, the care economy, education. We call on social partners to closely monitor their governments and to ensure they are implementing the steps set out in Durban.”

The Durban conference was attended by delegates from governments, trade unions, employers’ organisations, civil society organisations, UN agencies and, for the first time, child delegates.

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Photo: 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour

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