Child Labour: Statement by the European Commission and the High Representative on the World Day against Child Labour

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


In 2021, we mark the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. Despite the progress made globally over the years, in 2020, there were still 160 million children in child labour, with 79 million children trapped in hazardous work. This is a heavy blow, as for the first time in the past 20 years, we see an increase in the number of children in child labour. Millions of children further risk falling victim to child labour due to the coronavirus pandemic and its socio-economic consequences.

The European Union has a zero tolerance approach against child labour. The EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child makes concrete commitments to work towards freeing supply chains of EU companies of child labour, as well as strengthening labour inspection systems for monitoring and enforcement of child labour laws. The protection of children also plays a key role in the EU’s new Strategy on Combatting Trafficking in human beings 2021-2025, as victims of child labour are often also victims of trafficking. The fight against child labour also figures prominently in the Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024.

The EU works around the world to eliminate child labour and to protect children through development cooperation, political dialogue, human rights, social, humanitarian and trade policies. Ensuring social protection floors and quality education are key factors, contributing to a decline in child labour, including during humanitarian crises. With measures tackling inequalities and social exclusion, we seek to help lift parents, families and caregivers out of poverty and ensure access to quality education for children. We use trade incentives, such as General Scheme of Preferences, to cooperate with partners to combat child labour.

In particular, we tackle child labour in the garment, conflict minerals, fisheries and agriculture sectors. The CLEAR Cotton project is a concrete example of how the EU is assisting to eliminate child labour in the cotton, textile and garment value chains. Through this project, the EU has helped to free more than 4,000 children in Burkina Faso and Mali from child labour and reintegrated them in the education system, to learn and build their own future.

We should not forget that children are the first to suffer from poverty, exclusion, inequalities and conflict. It is vital to assist countries to strengthen and expand their social protection schemes, to guarantee the continuity of accessible and quality education, and to ensure the capacity of labour inspection. As we battle the coronavirus pandemic, we need to step up our efforts to prevent children’s rights from backsliding. We need to ensure that they are at the centre of the global post-COVID-19 recovery.

The clock is ticking. We commit to get back to the positive trend over the past decades and accelerate the pace towards ending child labour in all its forms by 2025. Children hold the key to a better today and a better future, and it is our human imperative to enable them to live up to their full potential.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

This farmer used an age-old technique to save his soil and now his farm is prospering

Stronger partnerships with post-conflict countries needed to ensure ‘path towards durable peace’: UN chief

EU consumer rules: Airbnb cooperates with European Commission and EU consumer authorities improving the way it presents offers

Assembly President launches new initiative to purge plastics and purify oceans

To feed 10 billion people, we must preserve biodiversity. Here’s how

Fragile countries risk being ‘stuck in a cycle of conflict and climate disaster,’ Security Council told

State aid: Commission approves €1.4 billion Swedish scheme to support uncovered fixed costs of companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

Women’s rights: MEPs call for action to fight backlash against gender equality

Tax crimes: MEPs want EU financial police force and financial intelligence unit

Reusable packaging: 6 benefits beyond sustainability

Our present and future tax payments usurped by banks

Aviation Safety: Commission adopts new EU Air Safety List

This is how COVID-19 is affecting informal workers

Eurozone stagnates after exporting its recession to trading partners

Juncker Plan reaches almost €410 billion in triggered investment across the EU

Technology can transform clinical practice – here’s how

Knowledge management and entrepreneurship: short term vs. long term perspective

The Cold War had an unintended side effect: It created a European wildlife paradise

‘Counter and reject’ leaders who seek to ‘exploit differences’ between us, urges Guterres at historic mosque in Cairo

MWC 2016 LIVE: Xiaomi looks to revive growth with flagships

How our food system is eating away at nature, and our future

Medical workforce migration in Europe – Is it really a problem?

Four things workers want implemented by their bosses post-pandemic

‘Unlock opportunities’ and pave the way for sustainable development, UN chief urges on World Population Day

This Japanese experiment shows how easily coronavirus can spread – and what you can do about it

EU and Georgia sign Financing Agreements for COVID-19 Recovery worth €129 million

Security Council urges countries to factor child protection into conflict prevention efforts

Peer-to-peer learning: a way to develop medical students’ trainings

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is driving Globalization 4.0

MEPs demand safe and clean travel

3 ways to stop COVID-19 from drying up start-up talent pools

European Business Summit 2015: In search of a vision for the future

Apple® logo (copyright: Apple)

Apple takes further step into music: EU Regulators formally approve its planned Shazam acquisition

How do we upskill a billion people by 2025? Leadership and collaboration will be key

Palliative care: an indispensable component for a better quality of life

Idea of ‘homogenous’ Polish culture is a myth: UN human rights expert

Unity, regional cooperation and international support needed for Horn of Africa to develop sustainably

How we can work together in the fight against NCDs

The first-ever climate telethon has raised $2.6 million for new forests

Parliament approves seven-year EU budget 2021-2027

Anti-terror measures against youngsters’ online posts ‘linked to spike in child detention globally’

Hiring more female leaders is good for profits. Here’s the evidence

More than nine in ten children exposed to deadly air pollution

How the world’s best teacher is changing lives in Africa

Coronavirus: Commission approves contract with BioNTech-Pfizer alliance to ensure access to a potential vaccine

Mindfulness: a freedom we can still have in the pandemic

Obama turns the G20 summit into warmongering platform

Cheese energy could power hundreds of UK homes

COVID-19: MEPs fear impact on justice system and threat to rule of law

Greek citizens to pay the price again but Tsipras risks losing next elections

5 lessons for community-focused planning during a pandemic

The challenge to be a good healthcare professional

Mental health In Times of a Pandemic: What can each Individual to lessen the Burden.

WHO and UNICEF in campaign to protect 1.6 million in Sudan from cholera

UN ready to rise above political fray and help Venezuelans based ‘on need, and need alone’

Commission notifies the Republic of Panama over the need to step up action to fight against illegal fishing

This man is helping explorers carry out scientific research at the ends of the Earth

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Cows, coffee and sustainable farming

“Smoking steam instead of tobacco, are the E-cigarettes a safer alternative?”

Wages are flatlining around the world – is automation to blame?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s