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Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams!

World Day Against Child Labour - 12 June 2019


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

Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams. 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.

This year, the World Day Against Child Labour will look back on progress achieved over a 100 years of ILO support to countries on tackling child labour. Since its founding in 1919, the protection of children has been embedded in the ILO’s Constitution (Preamble). One of the first Conventions adopted by the ILO was on Minimum Age in Industry (No. 5, 1919).

“It is the exploitation of childhood which constitutes the evil… most unbearable to the human heart. Serious work in social legislation begins always with the protection of children.”
Albert Thomas, the first ILO Director

On this World Day, 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. In support of Alliance 8.7, we call for immediate action to address the remaining challenges so that the world community can get firmly on track towards eliminating child labour. A newly released ILO report points the way with policy approaches and responses.

2019 marks 20 years since the adoption of the ILO’s Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182). With only a few countries still to ratify, this Convention is close to universal ratification. On this World Day we call for full ratification and implementation of Convention No. 182 and of the ILO’s Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138). We also encourage ratification of the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, which protects both adults and children.

The World Day Against Child Labour is widely supported by governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, UN agencies, and many others who are concerned with tackling child labour. We would like to invite you and your organization to be part of the World Day. Join us and add your voice to the worldwide movement against child labour. For more information, contact childlabour@ilo.org.


ILO labour standards on child labour

Minimum age for admission to employment
  1. ILO Convention No. 138
    Ratifications
  2. Recommendation No. 146
Worst forms of child labour
  1. ILO Convention No. 182 on the worst forms of child labour
    Ratifications
  2. Recommandation No. 190