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"Music against Child Labour" Initiative

  • ILO Photo / M. Crozet
  • ILO Photo
  • UN Photo / Kibae Park
  • ILO Photo / M. Crozet
  • UN Photo / Amjad Jamal
  • NGO Petit Kouakou Photo
  • Flickr / Terry Feuerborn
  • Projeto Guri Photo
  • Flickr / kris
  • Today Festival Photo
The Music Against Child Labour Initiative, launched in 2013 by the ILO and some of the world's greatest musicians, calls on musicians worldwide to dedicate a concert or song to the struggle against child labour.

Music education can empower children, build their skills and, crucially, encourage them to go to school and stay in school. The Initiative's partners are asking everyone in the world of music to join us in raising awareness about child labour and about the value of music and arts education in combating it.

Whatever your age or level, whether you are in a band, ensemble, group, orchestra or choir - or play as a soloist, your music can help raise awareness and inspire action. Contributions from musicians of every genre are equally valued - soul or son, highlife or hip-hop, folk, jazz, rock or tango, classical music of every tradition and every type of music besides. And if you don't compose, play or sing, you can take part by mobilising musicians in your country, including through their trade unions, or by encouraging music events in your community to link to the campaign.

With your music, you can strike a powerful chord against child labour and for social justice! Join the Initiative by dedicating a concert and/or dedicating a song to the campaign.

Concerts and songs

  1. World Day Against Child Labour 2015

    Artists rock against child labour, mark Philippines Independence Day

    The Philippines marks Independence Day and joins the rest of the world for the World Day Against Child Labour 2015 with the Batang Malaya: Freedom from child labour open concert.

  2. Event

    Madrid (Spain) - Pilar Jurado concert at the Centro Cultural Conde Duque

    At the Centro Cultural Conde Duque, in Madrid, Pilar Jurado, ILO Special Contributor, will dedicate her concert at the LaborArte Festival 2015.

  3. Event

    Toronto (Canada) - “Raise Our Voices”, new song against child labour

    “Raise Our Voices” is a new song by DEYSofficial, a group composed of four Canadian siblings who have been singing professionally since they were children.

Initiative resources

  1. Learn: the facts
  2. Show: the video
  3. Play: the songs
  4. Download:
    the red card
    the manifesto
    the brochure
  • © Flickr / Federico Soffici

    Children have the right to play, read and learn. They have the right to happiness. It is our duty to guarantee that for them. Music is an instrument of peace. It can cancel out the system of oppression which still seeks to exploit children, children full of hope, in every corner of the world.”

    Maestro Claudio Abbado
  • © Brasilia III GCLC

    Anthem against Child Labour is not merely a song, but the musical spark to liberate shackled innocence and stolen childhood. It is the loudest chorus to unite all voices, minds and souls for emancipation from child slavery.”

    Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate and President of the Global March against Child Labour
  • © Pavia Cello Academy

    The fight to eliminate child labour in its worst forms is what should move the powerful and the worthiest of us. Education and the study of the arts is the road to tolerance and harmony amongst peoples.”

    Antonio Mosca, Director Orchestra Suzuki, Turin
  • © ILO

    Music can become a journey towards inner freedom. This is why it is so important for the language of music and art to be present in schools and accessible to all children from an early age.”

    Paolo Fresu, Italian trumpeter and flugelhorn jazz player
  • © Flickr  / Waldo Lao

    Music is a language, and language is power. So let us empower our children to raise their voices and say NO to child labour!”

    Alessandra Fernandez Alves da Costa, Associação Amigos de Projeto Guri
  • ©

    Music can and must make a difference in the fight against child labour, both through raising awareness about the problem but also – as widely demonstrated in Latin America – through developing a common understanding of its causes and consequences among youth and young musicians.”

    Paolo Marzocchi, Italian pianist and composer