Child Labour in Agriculture

Driving impact through partnerships and advocacy 

To achieve Zero Hunger, we must have zero child labour.  

Eliminating child labour is a global priority, embedded in Sustainable Development Goal 8.7, which advocates for the elimination of child labour in all its forms by 2025. However, it will not be possible to achieve this ambitious goal without the elimination of child labour in the agricultural sector. Here is where the majority of child labourers are still overwhelmingly found working in harsh conditions, instead of benefiting from education. We need a breakthrough in agri-food systems. 

FAO has a pivotal role to play, given its experience in addressing household poverty and food insecurity – which are among the main drivers of child labour in agriculture. However, to deliver on these ambitions, we cannot work alone. Only through collective, integrated actions can we deliver impact at scale. 

Spanning UN agencies, national and local governments, private sector companies, academia and civil society organizations, our approach is build on creating synergies and leveraging the unique assets and capacities of those who share our mission. In particular, we work closely with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), who respectively lead on international conventions and labour stakeholder engagement and child protection. 

FAO is also a member of the International Partnership of Cooperation on Child Labour in Agriculture (IPCCLA), to increase collaboration and cooperation among agricultural stakeholders. We also support the Alliance 8.7, a global partnership to end forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and all forms of child labour.

Together with our partners, we work to mobilize policy-makers and agricultural stakeholders on a large-scale and in a concerted manner to accelerate their engagement on ending child labour in agriculture and all its sub-sectors.

In order to promote global action, FAO engages in major international initiatives, including the World Day Against Child Labour and the 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.

2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour

The International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, declared by the UN General Assembly, is a historic opportunity to reaffirm commitments, take action and inspire broad partnerships to preserve the progress made on child labour and related issues such as social justice, inclusion and the reduction of inequalities. 

Leveraging the impetus provided by the International Year, FAO steps-up efforts to catalyze global action and strengthen the capacities of a wide range of agricultural actors at all levels, with the objective of including child labour prevention and youth employment promotion in their work.