Child Labour

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: