ILO brief

The elimination of child labour and its root causes – the guidance offered by the ILO MNE Declaration

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the global progress against child labour has stalled for the first time and millions of children are put at risk of being pushed into child labour. Now more than ever, governments, social partners and businesses – national and multinational, small, medium and large – have a critical role to play in tackling child labour and addressing its root causes, including gaps in legislation and/or law enforcement, the informal economy, lack of freedom of association and collective bargaining, poverty and inadequate social protection, discrimination, lack of education and unsustainable business practices. By highlighting the relevant recommendations of the Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration), this joint guidance note by the ILO Multinational Enterprises and Enterprises Engagement Unit (MULTI) and the ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch (FUNDAMENTALS) aims to promote more comprehensive strategies and actions that businesses operating all over the world can take by adopting a holistic approach to the elimination of child labour and its root causes in their business operations.