On June 12, the World Day against Child Labour, there is nothing to celebrate as we see a shocking rise in the numbers of working children.
Progress to eliminate child labour was already slowing before the pandemic; the ILO and UNICEF are now projecting the number of child labourers could rise to 168.9 million by the end of 2022, fueled by the impact of COVID-19. Sadly, there has also been no progress in agriculture which remains the biggest user of child labour; 70% of all child labour takes place in agriculture – equivalent to 112 million children. To that, we must add the social and economic impacts of the war in Ukraine as global food and energy prices soar.
On WDACL the IUF welcomes the commitments adopted by all parties at the Durban 5th Global Conference on the elimination of child labour to:
- scale up action to end child labour in agriculture
- adopt action plans to eliminate obstacles to the establishment, growth and the pursuit of rural workers trade unions
- adopt safe agricultural practices and eliminate or minimize work-related hazards and risks, including exposure to harmful substances, such as hazardous pesticides
- end child labour in supply chains
On WDACL we commit to:
Strengthen organizing in agriculture to build the labour movement locally and nationally. This remains essential for the elimination of child labour.
Negotiating agreements with companies not to use child labour, to ensure decent work throughout their supply chains and not to source from operations which use child labour.
Campaign for the ratification of ILO Conventions key to eliminating child labour in agriculture.