ACCEL Africa

AUC-ILO Africa Forum on Child Labour “Harnessing Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives to address Child Labour”

The main objective of the event is to support the implementation of the African Union’s “Ten Year Action Plan to Eradicate Child Labour, Forced Labour, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery”.

Objectives of the Forum

The main objective of the event supported the implementation of the African Union’s “Ten Year Action Plan to Eradicate Child Labour, Forced Labour, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery”, by organizing a forum at the regional level as a multi-stakeholder platform aimed at nurturing dialogue, sharing knowledge, challenges and opportunities, as well as best practices and innovative mechanisms in promoting the respect of children rights in supply chains, by taking into consideration both the corporate responsibility to respect and the state duty to protect human rights through the enforcement of comprehensive legal frameworks. In this context, the forum discussed the role and the contribution of private sector actors in addressing child labour in supply chains in Africa, focusing on the level of interaction between businesses, Governments, workers and civil society to prevent and tackle child labour root causes in the framework of multi-stakeholder dialogue and cooperation.

Specifically, the forum aimed to:
  • Follow-up on and maintain the momentum generated by the Durban Call to Action on the Elimination of Child Labour by fostering a multi-stakeholder exchange on the contribution of private sector actors in addressing child labour and its root causes in Africa, particularly in supply chains, as a means to maximize collective learning opportunities across the continent;
  • Identify regional implementation experiences, challenges, opportunities and best practices to inform and stimulate dialogue for the scaling up of key interventions, including those based on public-private partnership (PPP) and private sector child labour financing in alignment with national priorities;
  • Foster coordination of sector‐specific interventions and documentation of best practices by linking efforts undertaken by companies to existing and future country‐level programmes;
  • Promote synergies between the Business and Human Rights Agenda and efforts for the elimination of child labour;
  • Promote a multi-stakeholder regional platform engagement and cooperation on child labour that could be institutionalized within the framework of the AUC and its partners to support the building of a regional knowledge base on the elimination of child labour in supply chains and its root causes;

Event Description

The forum was built on the momentum generated by the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour in May 2022 and the resulting Durban Call to Action. It is organized by the ILO ACCEL Africa project in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) and relevant ILO departments.

The event was held virtually and has involved speakers and participants from African businesses (including professional groups, small and medium-sized enterprises, banks and multinational enterprises where relevant), employers’ organizations, Governments, workers’ organizations and civil society as well as ILO experts.

Taking into consideration relevant frameworks of reference at the international level, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and the International Labour Standards and instruments such as the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, the forum hosted an exchange on specific thematic areas such as due diligence and responsible business practices, public-private partnerships and financing, paving the way for a stronger multi-stakeholder engagement and coordination of actions to accelerate the achievement of the SDG Target 8.7 of ending child labour in all its forms by 2025.

Target Audience

The webinar specifically targeted:
  • The African Union Commission (AUC)
  • The following AU’s member states:
Northern Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia
Eastern Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda
Southern Africa: Angola, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia
Central Africa: Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon
Western Africa: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone
  • The African Employer and Business Membership Organizations (EBMOs)
  • Companies (including small and medium-sized enterprises, multinationals, and financial institutions)
  • The African Workers’ Organizations