Published: 12/06/2024

25 years have passed since the adoption of ILO convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour in June 1999. Despite universal ratification of the convention in 2020, there are still 112 million children working in agriculture. On this World Day Against Child Labour, the IUF is calling for urgent and effective action on governments’ commitments and companies’ responsibilities to address the underlying causes of child labour in agriculture and to introduce regulations limiting practices that encourage child labour.

In agriculture, piece rate and quota wage systems encourage child labour on farms and plantations because high daily piece rate quotas push workers beyond their physical limits; workers’ children step in to help their parents meet the daily quotas so they don’t lose their jobs. Furthermore, global supply chain purchasing practices encourage child labour, because buyers do not pay enough for crops to ensure workers in agriculture are paid a living wage. Finally, endemic violations of workers’ fundamental rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining ensure that millions of workers cannot bargain collectively for living wages. Despite ample commitments as well as instruments for the eradication of child labour, we need action.

On this WDACL 2024, the IUF is calling again for action:

…addressing the underlying causes of child labour in agri-food activities by introducing regulations limiting practices that may incentivize the use of child labour, reassessing piece rate wage systems in agriculture and recognizing the need to guarantee adequate minimum wages.
ILO policy guidelines for the promotion of decent work in the agri-food sector