WDACL 2020

COVID-19: Protect children from child labour, now more than ever!

World Day Against Child Labour 2020 focused on the impact of crisis on child labour. The COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market shock are having a huge impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. Unfortunately, children are often the first to suffer. The crisis can push millions of vulnerable children into child labour. Already, there are an estimated 152 million children in child labour, 72 million of which are in hazardous work. These children are now at even greater risk of facing circumstances that are even more difficult and working longer hours.

The high-level virtual debate on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour took place on 12th June at 16:30. This debate took place at a challenging time, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic and social crisis. The main background document for the debate was the newly released joint ILO-UNICEF paper on the impact of COVID-19 on child labour. The paper looks at some of the main channels through which the pandemic is likely to affect progress towards the eradication of child labour.

The debate was also an important moment to look ahead. The UN has declared 2021 the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. This provides an opportunity for all UN Member States and partners to join efforts to tackle child labour on the road to 2025, the date set by SDG Target 8.7 to end child labour in all its forms.

For more information about the event and panellists, please consult the World Day campaign page.