The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has unanimously adopted a resolution declaring 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, and has asked the International Labour Organization to take the lead in its implementation.
The UN, therefore, urged the international community to step up efforts to eradicate forced labour and child labour.
The resolution highlights the member States’ commitments “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.”
The UNGA acknowledged the importance of the ILO’s Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138)and the Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 (No.182) – which is close to universal ratification by the ILO’s 187 member States – as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
It also recognized the importance of “revitalized global partnerships to ensure the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the implementation of the goals and targets related to the elimination of child labour.”
The ILO has been working for the abolition of child labour throughout its 100 year-history, and one of the first Conventions it adopted was on Minimum Age in Industry (No. 5, 1919).
The organisation is a partner in Alliance 8.7 and serves as the secretariat of this global partnership for eradicating forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour around the world.
Substantial progress has been achieved in recent years, largely because of intense advocacy and national mobilization backed by legislative and practical action. Between 2000 and 2016 alone, there was a 38 per cent decrease in child labour globally.