The Hague Global Child Labour Conference - 10-11 May 2010

Towards a world without child labour – Mapping the road to 2016
(10-11 May 2010, The Hague, The Netherlands)

The year 2010 is 10 years after the coming into force of ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL), the most widely-ratified international labour convention, and it is 6 years ahead of the global target of eliminating the WFCL. While the global movement has achieved much progress in reducing the incidence of child labour, efforts must be stepped up if we are to deliver the commitment of a world free of the worst forms of child labour by 2016. In order to meet that challenge, the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, in close collaboration with the ILO (and in cooperation with UNICEF and the World Bank), is organizing a global conference on child labour to be held in The Hague (The Netherlands) on 10 and 11 May 2010.

The conference objectives are:

  • to achieve rapidly universal ratification of ILO Conventions Nos. 138 and 182;
  • to deliver the commitment to take immediate and effective measures to end the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency; and
  • to agree on significantly intensified efforts to reach the 2016 goal laid down in the Global Action Plan.

The event will feature the launching of the ILO Global Report for 2010 (on child labour). The report presents new global statistics and an analysis of child labour trends, helping us evaluate progress to date, pointing out areas in which we have succeeded and signalling areas where more work is especially needed.

The conference will also provide opportunities for countries, workers’ organizations, employers’ organizations, NGOs and other parties to showcase their good practices and lessons learnt in the fight against the worst forms of child labour. Five thematic sessions - on political awareness, financing needs, policy integration, tripartite action and a ‘focus on Africa’ - will offer even more occasions for all participants to discuss the challenges and opportunities at hand and to learn from each other’s experience.

Child labour is not a phenomenon that can be dealt with in isolation, it is both a cause and consequence of poverty and low levels of social welfare. This conference aims to mainstream the issue of child labour into the development debate, involving a wide array of prominent global actors involved in the broader development field. The conference will also feature a discussion of an interagency report (by the ILO, UNICEF and the World Bank (through UCW)) on child labour and development. Based on empirical research, the report will discuss the impact of child labour from a national development perspective, and the policy and programmatic priorities for addressing it in the years up to 2016.

The global economic crisis threatens progress made on the elimination of child labour. The impact of the crisis on child labour, and the opportunities that the recovery process may provide will also be discussed at the conference.


An expected outcome of the conference is a Road map with concrete steps to achieve the goal of eliminating the WFCL by 2016. Drafts of the Road map will be developed during a consultative process prior to the Global Conference.