On World Day Against Child Labor, we renew our commitments and efforts to combat child labor and protect children.
The United States was one of the first countries to sign the international treaty against child labor. When President Clinton signed what is known as the Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention in 1999, he recognized that to address child labor, governments, companies, and workers must promote core labor standards and workers’ rights to raise living standards around the world.
Since then, many countries have made progress to eliminate child labor. Unfortunately, school closures and worsening health and economic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic forced more children back to work. Many are still not in school. It is up to us to stand up for them.
That is why World Day Against Child Labor and our continued collaboration with global partners like the ILO are so important. This cooperation includes new commitments made at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labor in South Africa last month, which the United States fully supports.
For our part, the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons combats child trafficking, including forced child labor, through the Child Protection Compact Partnerships with governments which strengthen our partners’ efforts to prevent child trafficking in all forms, effectively prosecute and convict child traffickers, and provide trauma-informed care and services for victims and survivors.
The U.S. government also works to end child labor by funding projects across the globe to eliminate child labor, providing technical assistance to governments, addressing child labor in our trade policy, and engaging with companies and trade associations to keep child labor out of U.S. supply chains. We will not stop, because these investments in our children create better futures for everyone.
To learn more about global trends, data and countries’ efforts to combat child labor, and actions you can take, read the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights, Trafficking in Persons Report, and the Department of Labor’s .