Red Card to Child Labour

Mike Einziger, Ann Marie Simpson, Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmer and friends raise their voices against child labour

Award winning musicians are working in harmony to support the ILO's efforts to combat child labour.

Press release | 05 June 2014
 Tiffany Bordenave
LOS ANGELES- Producer/composer/guitarist Mike Einziger, Pharrell Williams, composer Hans Zimmer and Blink-182’s Travis Barker are among the Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy award winners who have come together to record a song in support of the International Labour Organization’s “Red Card to Child Labour” campaign. Also performing on the song is Minh Dang, an activist and survivor of child sex trafficking, and newcomer Liz.

The song, Til Everyone Can See and the music video will launch on 12 June, World Day Against Child Labour. It was written by (founder/guitarist/songwriter for the groundbreaking band Incubus) Einziger and internationally acclaimed violinist, Ann Marie Simpson. The idea for a song came to both musicians after they met with the ILO and learned about the millions of children in child labour. When Hans Zimmer heard the demo of the song, he decided to support their efforts and also enlist Pharrell and other musicians. Einziger, Simpson, Zimmer and Williams most recently worked together on the soundtrack for The Amazing Spiderman 2.

“There are 168 million children between the ages of five and 18 years in child labour around the world, doing work they are too young to perform,” said Mike. “Many are denied the opportunity to go to school. 85 million of them are doing work that puts their health or safety, sometimes even their lives, in danger. They’re victims of exploitation in the drugs or sex trade, are recruited as soldiers or made to beg, to work in mines and sweatshops or as domestic workers. This is unacceptable,” he said.

Founded in 1919, The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the oldest specialized agency of the United Nations. The ILO has the world’s biggest programme to combat child labour – the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC).

“This is an opportunity for artists and the global community to join the efforts of the ILO’s constituents - governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations - to raise awareness about child labour, and to make a difference in the lives of millions of children,” said Marcia Poole, Communications Director for the ILO.

12 June is also the start of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the most watched sports event in the world, with an estimated audience of three billion people. The choice of the Red Card and the launch date of the campaign are deliberate: the Red Card is a powerful image that is recognized across the world as a warning that something is wrong and must stop.

Other musicians and music organizations around the world are also helping raise awareness of the plight of child labourers through the global Music against Child Labour Initiative with orchestras and other musicians dedicating concerts to the fight against child labour.

For more information on the campaign please visit or contact us at

Child labour: Facts and figures
  • Global number of children in child labour has declined by one third since 2000, from 246 million to 168 million children. More than half of them, 85 million, are in hazardous work (down from 171 million in 2000).
  • Asia and the Pacific still has the largest numbers (almost 78 million or 9.3% of child population), but Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be the region with the highest incidence of child labour (59 million, over 21%).
  • There are 13 million (8.8%) of children in child labour in Latin America and the Caribbean and in the Middle East and North Africa there are 9.2 million (8.4%).
  • Agriculture remains by far the most important sector where child labourers can be found (98 million, or 59%), but the problems are not negligible in services (54 million) and industry (12 million) – mostly in the informal economy.
  • Child labour among girls fell by 40% since 2000, compared to 25% for boys.
Source: Marking progress against child labour - Global estimates and trends 2000-2012 (ILO-IPEC, 2013).