Child Labour in Agriculture

Today, almost 1 in 10 of all children worldwide is engaged in child labour and the largest share remains in agriculture, with 112 million children in total – 70 percent of all child labour.

Held on 2 and 3 November 2021, the Global Solutions Forum – Acting together to end child labour in agriculture mobilized global action and identified scalable solutions to eradicate child labour in agriculture. The online event was organized in the context of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour and brought together representatives of ministries of agriculture, fisheries, livestock and forestry, producers and farmers' organizations, workers' organizations, development banks, businesses, civil society and academia, children, youth advocates, and former child labourers, among others.

In view of the event, we conducted extensive regional consultations with agricultural stakeholders, capturing good practices, promising experiences, and innovative ideas to accelerate progress. An initial Call for action: ending child labour in agriculture with the help of agricultural stakeholders was followed up by regional consultations in Latin America and the CaribbeanAsia and the PacificNear East and North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

To inform and support the consultations, FAO published 12 thematic and regional background papers:


The Global Solutions Forum managed to:

ACT: raise the voice and commitment of agricultural stakeholders.

INSPIRE: share game-changing solutions and identify ways to step up concerted action to prevent and end child labour in all agricultural sub-sectors.

SCALE-UP: inform the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour, along with other global initiatives such as the United Nations Decade of Family Farming.

Structured around interactive sessions, the event provided a platformto present, discuss, and promote concrete solutions to address child labour in agriculture, through three perspectives:


  • regional lens, presenting the outcomes of regional consultations and the Call for Action;
  • sub-sectoral lens, covering crop farming, fisheries and aquaculture, livestock, and forestry;
  • cross-sectoral lens, including investment programmes, education and vocational training, gender equality and women's empowerment, decent work and safe working conditions for all, and humanitarian and emergency responses.

During the event, more than 75 national, regional and global agricultural stakeholders’ representatives have raised their voices and shared their commitment to step up concerted action to prevent and end child labour in agriculture.  

Discover the key messages and solutions highlighted during the event:





Interpretation will be provided in the six official languages of the United Nations for the opening and closing sessions and in English, French and Spanish for the other sessions.

Day 1 (Tue, 2 Nov 2021)

Moderator's welcome and introduction.

    Opening remarks:

    • Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
    • A special message from His Holiness Pope Francis 
    • Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO)
    • Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF (video message)
    • Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Laureate

    Redi Tlhabi, Moderator & Broadcast Journalist

    • Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, European Commission (video message)
    • Sue Longley, General Secretary of  the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF)
    • Jo Puri, Associate Vice-President of the Strategy and Knowledge Department, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
    • Paul Schoenmakers, Head of Impact of Tony 's Chocolonely
    • Emmerance Tuyishime, Programs Officer Pan-African Farmers' Organization

    With the participation of children and youth advocates: Molly Namirembe and Kamasa Dorothy Azimi.

    Redi Tlhabi, Moderator & Broadcast Journalist

    • Michaelle De Cock, Head of Research and Evaluation Unit, ILO
    • Claudia Cappa, Senior Statistics Specialist, UNICEF 
    • Bernd Seiffert, Focal Point for Preventing Child Labour in Agriculture, FAO
    Benjamin Davis, Director of the Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equality Division, FAO

    Discussion with stakeholders engaged in the sector.

    • Kaing Khim, Deputy Director-General, Fisheries Administration, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry of Cambodia
    • Sille Stidsen, Chief Adviser, Danish Institute for Human Rights / Rezoanul Haque Azom, Senior Officer Planning and Monitoring, Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies
    • Daniela Kalikoski, Fisheries Industry Officer, FAO /
      Fabio Veras, Researcher, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, Brasilia

    • Micheline Dion, President, Cooperative for Fishery Products Traders and Processors from Cote d’Ivoire  
    Audun Lem, Deputy Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture Division, FAO

    Part 1 - Family Farming 

    • Christine Fuell, Coordinator of the Rotterdam Convention
    • Rob Vos, Director of Markets, Trade and Institutions Division, IFPRI
    • Tiko Hema, Responsible Monitoring Evaluation and Training, FAO

    Moderator :
    Guilherme Brady, Head of Unit, Family Farming and Engagement with Parliamentarians, FAO 

    Part 2 - Responsible value chains  

    • Sebastian Lesch, Head of Division, Sustainable Agriculture Supply Chain, International Agricultural Policy, Agriculture and Innovation, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany
    • Patrick Owusu, Manager, Asanufo North Farmers Union, Ghana
    • Badra Alawa, Chief Technical Advisor, ILO   

    Moderator :
    Friedel Huetz-Adams, Senior Researcher, SÜDWIND

    Peer-to-peer session.

    • Minoarivelo Randrianarison, Forestry Officer, FAO
    • Veronica Galmez Marquez, Ecosystems Management Senior Specialist, Green Climate Fund
    • Hajia Alima Sagito, Deputy Coordinator, Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers
    • Adedolapo Alabi, Youth Leader, Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers
    • Lindita Boshtrakaj, Project Coordinator, ILO Kosovo
    • Matthieu Yela Bonketo, Founder and Chair, Cercle pour la Défense de l'Environnement

    Justin Chisenga, Knowledge/Information Management Officer, FAO

      Peer-to-peer session.

      • Véronique Ancey, Expert on Livestock and Poverty Reduction in Pastoral Areas, FAO
      • Paul Opio, Livestock Officer, FAO Kenya
      • Jasper Okodi, Programme Specialist, FAO South Sudan
      • Alassane Lompo, Coordinator, Civil Society Organizations of Eastern Burkina Faso
      • Aboubakry Dieng, Project Coordinator, ILO Mauritania  

      Moderator :
      Omar Benammour, Social Protection Officer, FAO 


      Presentation of the regional consultations’ results (Latin America & the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and Central Asia).

      • Alberto Posso, Professor of Economics, Researcher and Director Center for International Development of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)
      • María Emilia Undurraga, Minister of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture of Chile
      • Lilian Maina, Social Compliance and Risk Manager, Fairtrade Africa
      • Maurizio Bussi, Deputy Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, ILO
      • Jehiel Oliver, C.E.O, Hello Tractor

      Benjamin Davis, Director of the Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equality Division, FAO

      Day 2 (Wed, 3 Nov 2021)

      Presentation of the regional consultations’ results (Asia and the Pacific, Near East).

      • Ala Mustafa, Chief Executive Officer, Arab Youth Sustainable Development Network
      • Hala Abou Youssef, Director Central Agricultural Pesticide Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture, Egypt
      • Muhammad Hidayat Greenfield, Regional Secretary for the Asia/Pacific Regional Organization, IUF
      • Bharati Pflug, Senior Specialist on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, ILO Decent Work Technical Team for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific

      Mina Dowlatchahi, Director, Project Support Division, FAO

      Discussion with stakeholders engaged in the sector.

      • Maggie Makanza, Gender and Social Protection Specialist, FAO
      • Sidi Kone,  Assistant Agronomist, FAO Mali
      • Juliet Kutyabwana, Education Secretary, National Union of Co-operative Movement and Allied Workers - Uganda
      • Pauline Kariuki, Director, Rural Women Network

      With the participation of youth advocates.

      Silvia Sperandini, Gender, Targeting and Social Inclusion Specialist

      Session co-organized by IFAD and FAO

      Discussion with stakeholders engaged in the sector.

      • Doaa Arafa, Programme Policy Officer, World Food Programme Egypt
      • Gazal Malik, Policy Research Coordinator, Global March Against Child Labour
      • Elissa Alhassrouny, Child Protection Specialist Plan International Lebanon

      Dominique Marlet, Senior Rights Coordinator, Education International

      Discussion with stakeholders engaged in the sector.

      • Leonard Mizzi, Head of Sustainable Agri-Food Systems and Fisheries Unit, European Union

      • Daniel P. Owen, Lead Social Development Specialist, The World Bank Group

      • Christopher Ian Brett, Lead Agribusiness Specialist, The World Bank Group

      • Wieneke Vullings, Head of Sustainable Production and Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands

      • Marianne van Keep, Director of Sustainability & Purchasing, Verstegen Spices & Sauce

      Ida Christensen, Technical Advisor, FAO Investment Centre

      Peer-to-peer session.

      • Khalid Cassam, National Project Coordinator Mozambique, FAO

      • Michael Ramsay, Consultant (based in Jamaica), FAO

      • Amadou Cheick Traoré, Deputy Director of the National Directorate of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture - Mali

      • Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe , Deputy General Secretary , General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU)
      • Halim Hamzaoui, Occupational Safety and Health Specialist, ILO

      Andrea Rother, Professor, Head - Environmental Health Division, School of Public Health and Family Medicine University of Cape Town - South Africa

      Discussion with stakeholders engaged in the sector.

      • Ronald Omar Pivaral Cruz, Project Manager, Caravella Coffee
      • Lamine Diassana, FIER Project Coordinator, IFAD Mali
      • Micheal Lokiru, Programme Officer - Crop Production/Agronomist, FAO Uganda
      • Philippe Renard, Head of European and International Relations and Cooperation, General Education and Research Department, Ministry of Agriculture of France 

      With the participation of children and youth advocates.


      Beatriz Mendoza and Mario Pablo Ramirez, participants of Coffee Camps in Guatemala

      Thomas Wissing, Head, Advocacy and Partnerships Unit, ILO

      Session co-organized by ILO and FAO

      Parallel peer-to-peer session with stakeholders engaged in the sector.


      • Young people of VoiceMore Rutshuru
      • Zainab Abdel Azim, Associate Director of the Women Empowerment Department, Ministry of Agriculture Iraq


      • Ellie Chouieiri, Programme Officer, FAO Lebanon
      • Shakeb Nabi, Country Representative, ICCO Bangladesh
      • Azeb Lemma Dulla, PACE (Partnership Against Child Exploitation), M&E Officer, World Vision International Ethiopia

      Shukri Ahmed, Deputy Director, Office of Emergencies and Resilience, FAO / Indira Joshi, Emergency and Rehabilitation Officer, Office of Emergencies and Resilience, FAO. 

      Discussion Facilitator: 
      Silvia Oñate, Child Protection Expert, Plan International

      • Thoko Didiza, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development of South Africa
      • Anousheh Karvar, Chair of the Alliance 8.7
      • Vera Paquete-Perdigão, Director, Governance and Tripartism Department, ILO
      • Máximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist, FAO

      Redi Tlhabi, Moderator & Broadcast Journalist