Child Labour in Agriculture


Addressing child labour in coffee value chains
A new EU-funded action will tackle the root causes of child labour in supply chains, focusing primarily on coffee and leveraging existing efforts on cobalt. Under the leadership of the ILO, the project will be jointly implemented with FAO and UNICEF, in collaboration with International Trade Centre.
Uganda - Child labour in Karamoja

Kampala, Uganda – "Uganda is Africa in miniature," said Susan Ngongi Namondo, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda, at the wrap up of the Flexible Voluntary Contribution (FVC) Resource Partners’ Field Trip, held in Uganda from 1 to 5 May. "All the development challenges that are faced in the rest of the African continent are present here," she continued, "including gender gaps, extreme weather events, land tenure issues, and a high number of youths entering the labour market every year." Nevertheless, Uganda holds also immense potential. "The country is blessed in terms of weather and natural resources," added Antonio Querido, Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Uganda. "Agriculture can help absorb the youth workforce, which brings many opportunities for economic growth and innovation."


During the week of 15 to 20 May 2022, the Government of South Africa and the International Labour Organization (ILO) hosted the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour (5GCCL). 

Thousands of participants attended the Conference in-person or virtually, and in the closing sessions, the Conference adopted the Durban Call to Action, a document that emphasizes the need for urgent action to end child labour


During the week of 15 to 20 May 2022, the Government of South Africa will host the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour, organized by the ILO. The event comes at a critical time. Despite progress in many regions, the global number of child labourers is rising, and the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse years of progress.

The members of the International Partnership for Cooperation on Child Labour in Agriculture (IPCCLA), namely FAO, ILO, IFAD, IUF and IFPRI have released a joint statement on the occasion of the Fifth Conference for the Elimination of Child Labour in May 2022, calling for global and concerted actions of all stakeholders.

Child labour has risen for the first time in twenty years, according to the 2020 Global Estimates released by the ILO and UNICEF. Worldwide, 160 million children are trapped in child labour – an increase of 8.4 million in four years, which marks a dramatic reversal of years of progress. The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the situation. For this reason, the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour, to be held by the Government of South Africa and the ILO from 15 to 20 May, comes at a critical time.

The 33rd  International Congress on Occupational Health was held in a digital format from 6 to 10 February and brought together more than 1 400 delegates from 98 countries. During the congress, FAO organized a special session focused on “Supporting a breakthrough against child labour and hazardous work in agriculture,” presenting new tools and guidance for addressing hazardous child labour in agricultural sub-sectors.

"To avoid unintended negative consequences and promote a positive impact for smallholder farmers, the law enforcement component of sustainable corporate governance should be complemented by addressing the root causes of child labour in agriculture," said Adama Yaya Diarra, FAO Coordinator of the CLEAR Cotton project in Mali, intervening during the public hearing convened by the European Parliament's Committee on Development and the Committee on International Trade on 30 November 2021, to discuss the ways to tackle child labour in developing countries.

Rome - Ending the scourge of child labour by 2025 will require effective action and strong leadership, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), QU Dongyu, said today at the launch of the two-day high-level Global Solutions Forum: Ending Child Labour in Agriculture.

A total of 160 million children worldwide – almost 1 in 10 - are engaged in child labour. About 70 percent of these children (112 million) work in crop production, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture.


This year, the World Day Against Child Labour was marked by a high-level online event organized ...


Ahead of World Day Against Child Labour, FAO calls for this scourge to be tackled through the transformation of agri-food systems

The year 2021 has been declared the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour by the United Nations General Assembly, in light of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 aiming at ending child labour in all its forms by 2025. 

 21 January 2021, Rome/Geneva - The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, today pledged to intensify efforts towards addressing child labour in agriculture through a dedicated work programme within FAO's Strategic Framework.

‘'This year, we will step-up our efforts to strengthen the capacities of a wide range of agricultural actors to include child labour prevention and youth employment in their work,'' the Director-General stressed during the virtual event launch of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour 2021 organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO).