The Elimination of Child Labour
An Important Issue for Employers
The IOE and its member federations play an active role nationally and internationally in combatting child labour and advocating global access to education for children around the world. The IOE's view is that child labour, particularly in its dangerous and exploitative forms, is intolerable both because of its inhumanity and the negative long-term consequences for the economic and social well-being of the children concerned.
However, in a number of contexts, employing children has been understood to be positive since children can acquire marketable skills and earn indispensable income for themselves and their families, often a necessity in poor families and in developing economies. Nevertheless, a clear distinction must be made between beneficial work experience and activities that threaten the health, morals and future development of children and adolescents and constitute child labour.
For this purpose, attention must be paid to the child’s age, type and conditions of work, as set out in the international law framework in the ILO core Conventions on Child Labour: Minimum Age Convention C138 (1973), Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention C182 (1999).
The IOE continues to influence policy debates on child labour at the international level and to offer guidance and opportunities to develop information and to exchange good practices:
- IOE-ILO Child Labour Guidance Tool for Business (December 2015) - a practical resource for companies on how to do business with respect for children's rights and how to be free from child labour in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
- IOE-ILO Guides for Employers: eliminating child labour (2007) - three comprehensive booklets to help business and its organisations understand the risks and to take action against child labour:
- The IOE co-chairs the Child Labour Platform (CLP) together with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and in cooperation with the ILO and the UN Global Compact. The CLP aims to foster the exchange between business and other stakeholders in addressing child labour, particularly in supply chains, as a means to maximise collective learning opportunities and a global knowledge base on efforts to eliminate child labour.
- Tackling Child Labour in Supply Chains (CLP webinar) - Linda Kromjong's Presentation (September 2016)
- Launch of the Global Platform- Regional Initiative against Child Labour: Message from the IOE