2014 World Day Against Child Labour

New York rallies against child labour

Officials at the United Nations expressed their support for the victims of child labour and for the ongoing efforts of the ILO and others to combat this persistent but hidden exploitation.

News | 19 June 2014
Times Square in New York
©Catherine Lehman
Despite the significant progress made in recent years, 168 million children remain engaged in some form of child labour around world. More than half of them—85 million—are in hazardous work that directly endangers their health, safety and moral development.

On the occasion of the 2014 World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June, officials at the United Nations expressed their support for the victims and for the continued efforts of the ILO and others in combatting this persistent but often hidden exploitation.

President of the 68th United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. John W. Ashe, as well as the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, were among the many dignitaries and other delegates that spoke out against child labour in New York, reaffirming all children’s right to a childhood.  Elsewhere around the world, there were statements of support from Pope Francis and Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as from Brazil where more than a thousand people formed an aerial art image on Botafogo Beach.

The ILO’s Red Card to Child Labour Campaign seeks to raise awareness about the millions of victims worldwide who are in child labour. This year’s launch of the campaign coincided with the start of the FIFA Football World Cup in Brazil, and the campaign's messages were displayed in Times Square in New York to commemorate the day.

UN General Assembly President, H.E. Mr John W. Ashe
This year, the World Day drew attention to the role of social protection in reducing the economic vulnerabilities associated with poverty, which is often an important driver of child labour. Benefits that provide income security for children and families can help alleviate economic pressure on households, enable children to go to school, and protect them from potential exploitation.

Evidence from the newly released World Social Protection Report 2014/15 suggests that approaches linking cash and in-kind benefits with access to education and health services can be particularly effective in addressing child labour.

The global number of children in child labour has declined by one third since 2000. Along with many others, the ILO and its International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) have helped draw attention to the negative impacts of child labour on growth, on the future of the societies in which they live, and on the rights of these children.

A majority of countries have adopted legislation to prohibit or place severe restrictions on the employment and work of children, much of it stimulated and guided by standards adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO).