The accomplishments of the past years give cause for hope. Yet important challenges remain. Greater political commitment and national ownership is needed, supported by a more vibrant worldwide movement. Taken together, these factors can create a political environment that raises action against child labour to a level sufficient to have a real impact. The vision of the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) is a world where communities and sectors are increasingly and verifiably child labour free.
In this context, the ILO/IPEC aims to assist its member States and the world community to pursue the goal of eliminating all forms of child labour, with a focus on the eradication of its worst forms as a priority. In 2006, the ILO Governing Body endorsed a Global Action Plan which reconfirmed commitment to the elimination of child labour as one of the Organization’s highest priorities. The Global Action Plan sets out a strategy over the years to 2016. In pursuit of this ambitious goal, IPEC has strengthened its role as a promoter and facilitator of effective responses to child labour in all countries through:
- Supporting national responses to child labour, in particular through more effective mainstreaming of child labour concerns in national development and policy frameworks.
- Turning the worldwide movement against child labour into a catalyst for effective action and impact at the national level.
- Promoting further integration of child labour concerns within overall ILO priorities, in particular Decent Work County Programmes.
The 2010 ILO Global Report on Child Labour called for specific action by the ILO to hasten the pace of progress towards the 2016 target. This action will focus on:
Children working side by side with adults at a mine in Assam, India.
- Promoting universal ratification of child labour Conventions
- Promoting public policies to tackle child labour – increasing focus will be given to important public policy responses which can have an impact on child labour by addressing its root causes, in particular education, social protection, youth employment and efforts to promote decent work and livelihood opportunities for adult workers
- Leading the knowledge agenda – ILO/IPEC has made a major contribution to global knowledge about child labour. Particular emphasis will now be given in promoting knowledge in the areas of agriculture (the sector where 60% of working children can be found), forced labour, child domestic labour and the informal economy
- Supporting regional priorities – sub-Saharan Africa is in only region in which child labour has actually increased, and efforts will continue to be focused on eliminating child labour in this region. Work in South Asia, the region in which the largest number of children are working, will include a focus on ratification of Conventions and necessary follow-up. Although considerable progress has been made in the Latin American region, important challenges remain, including the issue of child labour in indigenous communities which requires particular attention
- Further strengthening advocacy, strategic partnerships and the worldwide movement against child labour – work in this area will focus on building recognition of the World Day against Child Labour, promoting multi-partner initiatives and the elimination of child labour under the “One UN – Delivering as One” approach and in the context of the target dates for the Millennium Development Goals (2015) and the elimination of the worst forms of child labour (2016), in global partnerships and in South-South cooperation. The ILO will continue to promote the mainstreaming of child labour into international policy and development frameworks and indicators.
- Increased capacity building for workers’ and employers’ organizations – the ILO social partners, employers’ and workers’ organizations, play a vital role in the worldwide movement against child labour. Particular attention will be given to the valuable role they play in promoting advocacy on child labour and supporting the public policy response.
- Further integrating child labour within Decent Work Country Programmes – consistent with the approach called for in the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, attention to child labour will be reflected in Decent Work Country Programmes.
- Taking forward the Roadmap agreed at the Hague Global Child Labour Conference – the ILO will actively support the implementation of the Roadmap.