World Day Against Child Labour


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.

In 2019, the International Labour Organization is celebrating 100 years of advancing social justice and promoting decent work.

Yet today, 152 million children are still in child labour. Child labour occurs in almost all sectors, yet 7 out of every 10 of these children are working in agriculture.

On this World Day Against Child Labour will look back on progress achieved over a 100 years of ILO support to countries on tackling child labour. We will also look forward towards the 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.

The World Day Against Child Labor is held annually on June 12. It is an international day to raise awareness and prompt action to stop child labor in all of its forms.


The International Labour Organziation (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labor in 2002. Since then, the day has focused attention on the prevalence of child labor throughout the world and the action and efforts essential to eliminating it.

Created in 1919 as part of the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I, the International Labour Organization was founded on the belief lasting peace is only possible if it’s based upon social justice.

The ILO helps secure a permanent peace for the world by working to improve unjust labor conditions, which include protecting children and young persons from economic exploitation.

Child labor is especially rampant in many developing countries – but even in industrialized nations many children are forced to work. According to UNICEF, children in the United States “are employed in agriculture, a high proportion of them from immigrant or ethnic-minority families.” There have also been a number of incidents of westerns companies exploiting child laborers in developing countries to save production costs.

In 2011, there were an estimated 215 million child laborers in the world – 115 million of which were involved in hazardous work. To combat child labor around the world the International Labour Organization (ILO) initiated the World Day Against Child Labor in 2002.

The World Day against Child Labour is observed every year across the world on June 12 with an aim to raise awareness against child labour.

In most cases child labour represents a sort of extra to be pooled to the family income, which is required in situations of financial difficulty. The phenomenon occurs mostly in the world’s poorest areas: in fact, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of exploited minors.

But it is found even in an industrialised country such as Italy, where about 340,000 children under the age of 16 are forced to work. “The peak of child labour is registered in teenagers during the transition from middle to high school, making Italy one of the European countries with the highest rate of truancy, equal to 18.2 per cent,” Raffaella Milano of Save the Children explains.

12 June every year: Highlighting the plight of children across the world who are forced to work.

“Hundreds of millions of girls and boys throughout the world are engaged in work that deprives them of adequate education, health, leisure and basic freedoms, violating their rights. Of these children, more than half are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.” (Text taken from ILO website)

The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the first World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 as a way to highlight the plight of these children. Observed on 12 June, the Day is intended to serve as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement against child labour and provides and opportunity to gain support from governments, civil society, schools, youth and women’s groups as well as the media, in the campaign against child labour.

• There are 541 million young workers (15-24 years old) globally. They account for more than 15 percent of the world’s labour force and suffer up to a 40 percent higher rate of non-fatal occupational injuries.

• Over 73 million children are in hazardous work and almost half of the 152 million children aged 5 to 17 are still into child labour.

• These children are toiling in mines and fields, factories and homes, exposed to pesticides and other toxic substances, carrying heavy loads or working long hours.

• Many suffer lifelong physical and psychological consequences.

• As per the ILO’s Conventions, namely, the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No 138) and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No 182), no child under the age of 18 should perform hazardous work.