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.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by world leaders in 2015, include a renewed global commitment to ending child labour. Specifically, target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals calls on the global community to: "Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms."
2019 theme: Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams!
Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams. Yet today, 152 million children are still in child labour. Although child labour occurs in almost every sector, seven out of every ten is in agriculture.
In 2019, the International Labour Organization celebrates 100 years of advancing social justice and promoting decent work. The World Day Against Child Labour looks back on progress achieved over a 100 years of ILO support to countries on tackling child labour. Since its founding in 1919, the protection of children has been embedded in the ILO’s Constitution (Preamble). One of the first Conventions adopted by the ILO was on Minimum Age in Industry (No. 5, 1919).
On this World Day, we also look forward towards UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 8.7 set by the international community calling for an end to child labour in all its forms by 2025. In support of Alliance 8.7, we call for immediate action to address the remaining challenges so that the world community can get firmly on track towards eliminating child labour. A newly released ILO report points the way with policy approaches and responses.
2019 also marks 20 years since the adoption of the ILO's Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182). With only a few countries still to ratify, this Convention is close to universal ratification. On this World Day we call for full ratification and implementation of Convention No. 182 and of the ILO's Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138). We also encourage ratification of the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, which protects both adults and children.