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Third Global Conference on Child Labour

ILO launches global campaign to end child labour

Hollywood actors and international athletes support the ILO's Red Card campaign.

Press release | 10 October 2013
Cher teams up with the ILO and holds up the Red Card to child labour
BRASILIA  – ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, has announced a global mobilization campaign to help end child labour. The “Red Card to Child Labour!” campaign was announced at the closing of the third Global Conference on Child Labour in Brasilia and already has the support of world-famous artists such as Oscar-winning actor and singer, Cher.

The ILO launched the first Red Card campaign in 2002, to raise public awareness of child labour. Eight years later, the second Global Conference on Child Labour that took place in The Hague committed to eliminating the worst forms of child labour by 2016. While the number of child labourers across the world has dropped by a third to 168 million over the last decade, progress has been too slow. The 152 countries that participated in the third conference that just ended in Brasilia have renewed their commitment to reach that target.

“The Red Card is a powerful image that is easily recognisable across the world as a warning that something is wrong and must stop,” said the ILO chief. “As we redouble our efforts to eradicate child labour, the support of Cher as well as other famous artists and athletes is a vital way of mobilising our global society so that together we can rid the world of child labour. There are 168 million reasons for us to do so.”

Half the world’s child workers are trapped in the worst forms of child labour. They work in fields, mines and factories and many are sexually abused, exploited in the drug trade or forced to join armies and militias.

The ILO is working to free millions of these children and they can use our help."
“The ILO is working to free millions of these children and they can use our help,” says Cher in a video message.

Besides Cher, actors Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Wagner Moura, Jon Tenney, Olivia Wilde, Jason Sudeikis and Rob Morrow are supporting the campaign. Athletes from the US to the Philippines have also joined. The 2014 Football World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics will serve as major mobilization events for the campaign.

The ILO is the UN’s specialised agency for the world of work and has the world’s largest programme for the elimination of child labour. It has already helped free millions of children across the world.

For more information please contact the ILO's Department of Communication, +4122/799-7912,
or Bonnie Abaunza (