1. © Jake Brewer 2021

    Child labour

    2021: International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour

    15 January 2021

    Child labour has decreased by 38 per cent in the last decade but 152 million children are still affected. The COVID-19 pandemic has considerably worsened the situation, but joint and decisive action can reverse this trend.


  1. © ILO 2021


    Universal protection against the worst forms of child labour

    23 December 2020

    In 2020, for the first time in the ILO’s history, an International Labour Standard achieved universal ratification, with acceptance by all 187 Member States. Universal ratification of ILO Convention No. 182 on Worst Forms of Child Labour (1999) means that all children now have legal protection against the worst forms of child labour. The landmark achievement comes at a significant moment, because the United Nations has designated 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. Vera Paquete-Perdigao answers some key questions on child labour and the Convention.

  2. World Children’s Day

    Kids United sings against child labour

    20 November 2020

    French youth music group, Kids United New Generation, has lent their voices to the ILO’s global campaign to end child labour. Their latest song highlights the urgent need to take action and calls on governments and organizations around the world to do more.

  3. © ILO 2021

    World Children’s Day

    Child labour is an affront to our common values

    20 November 2020

    The universal ratification of the ILO’s Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour is a positive step for Africa’s children says Cynthia Samuel-Olonjuwon, ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa.

  4. Video

    Burning Hands

    06 November 2020

    Ko Ko Kyaw - the young boy in Kit Kit’s film ‘Burning Hands’ - has been working since he was seven-years-old, carrying cement on construction sites in the hot Mandalay sun. His hands get so raw and bloody that his mother tries to heal them with candle wax. Physical exhaustion and sleep deprivation are daily struggles.

  5. Video

    Nowhere to go

    05 November 2020

    At seven months pregnant, this young woman has nowhere to go. She left school to work aged 7, started to sniff glue at 12, spent time in jail, and has already lost two newborn babies.

  6. © KB Mpofu / ILO 2021

    Rights at work

    Fundamental rights at work can help build back better from COVID-19

    28 October 2020

    Core work-related rights and principles can play a vital role in recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and help build back a better, more equitable, world of work, according to a new ILO paper.

  7. Video

    I miss school

    07 October 2020

    As she leans over her notebook, practicing writing with her favourite red pen, 12-year-old Khin looks like any diligent school student. Yet the sad reality is that she stopped going to school soon after her father died, and now works doing temporary jobs such as roofing, cutting bamboo and carrying firewood.

  8. Video

    Tears in one eye

    07 October 2020

    13-year-old Bawk Seng - a talented emerging photographer - was born paralyzed on one side of her face, only able to cry from one eye, among several physical disabilities.

  9. Video

    “Weirdo": The story of Wahso Moe, a child labourer, during the pandemic

    08 September 2020

    8-year-old Wahso Moe works at least ten hours a day in a brickyard. His family is struggling to pay off a debt to the owner and buy enough food to survive. The young boy gets only MMK3500 ($2.50) for carrying tonnes of mud in a bucket on his head. As if life wasn’t already hard enough for Wahso Moe, he suffered injuries and memory loss after being hit by a motorcycle, and people started taunting him, calling him “weirdo” as a result.