The ILO’s Global Action Plan to Eliminate Child Labour

The ILO’s Global Report on child labour, The end of child labour: Within reach. Global Report under the Follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (ILO, 2006) set out a Global Action Plan to eliminate child labour for 2006-2010. This plan is gives IPEC’s strategic direction for its operations at the country, regional and global levels and outlines key actions to be taken to 2010.

Significantly, the Plan provides a clear vision for a world without child labour by proposing that the ILO and its member States commit themselves to the elimination of all worst forms of child labour by 2016. To make this happen, all member States would, in accordance with Convention No. 182, design and put in place appropriate time-bound measures by the end of 2008. For its part, the ILO would intensify its efforts to develop coherent and comprehensive approaches to abolishing child labour worldwide.

The Global Action Plan rests on three pillars:

  • supporting national responses to child labour, in particular through more effective mainstreaming of child labour concerns in national development and policy frameworks;
  • deepening and strengthening of the worldwide movement as a catalyst; and
  • promoting further integration of child labour concerns within overall ILO priorities, such as Decent Work Country Programmes.

By endorsing the Plan and its 2016 target in March 2007, the ILO Governing Body reconfirmed its commitment to the elimination of child labour as one of the Organization’s highest priorities and an important element in creating decent work for adults. The Plan also has ramifications beyond the elimination of child labour – work towards realizing the 2016 target also contribute directly to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals on education and poverty. Needless to say, the elimination of all worst forms of child labour by 2016 it is an ambitious target and requires a concerted effort by all stakeholders to achieve it. Above all, it requires the political will of governments to stay focused in their efforts to end the worst forms of child labour.