"We must step up our fight against child labor, by supporting greater social justice,,,"
On World Day Against Child Labor, the International Labor Organization (ILO) has called for action to stop children labor.
On Monday, as part of the session of the International Labor Conference, the ILO held a high-level panel themed "social justice for all, end child labor. The discussion focuses on the link between social justice and the elimination of child labor.
Panelists representing workers, employers and governments stressed the urgency of the fight against child labor and discussed ways to increase social justice.
"For the first time in 20 years, child labor is on the rise. 160 million children, almost one-in-10 worldwide, are in child labor," the ILO Director-General, Gilbert F. Houngbo said in a video speech addressed on this occasion.
"We must step up our fight against child labor, by supporting greater social justice. If we do this, an end to child labor is not just possible. It is within reach," he added.
According to the ILO’s statement published on Monday, the world has made steady progress in reducing child labor since 2000, but in recent years conflict, crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed more families into poverty and forced millions of children into child labor.
Economic growth is neither sufficient nor inclusive enough to ease the pressure from too many families and communities, the statement said.
Actions to combat child labor include creating and implementing strong legal frameworks based on international labor standards and social dialogue, providing universal access to quality education and social protection, and action to eradicate poverty and inequality.
The ILO established the first World Day Against Child Labor in 2002 to draw attention to the grand number of children engaged in child labor.