Catalyzing Civil Society to Accelerate Progress Against Child Labor (Catalyst)

Project Duration
December 2021
December 2025
Funding and Year

The project aims to build the capacity of civil society organizations around the world to advance the fight against child labor by raising the voices of workers, advocates, and other civil society representatives.

The Problem

The estimated number of children in child labor globally rose by 8 million between 2016 and 2020, reversing the previous downward trend between 2000 and 2016. Some 160 million children were estimated to be in child labor globally at the beginning of 2020, with 79 million children – nearly half of all those in child labor – engaged in hazardous work that directly endangers their health, safety and moral development.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasize the leading role of governments in enforcing and achieving the SDGs, including Target 8.7 efforts to eliminate child labor. However, civil society also has a critical role to play in achieving sustainable progress in such areas. This includes action by trade unions, labor activists, and anti-child labor, anti-slavery, and community-based organizations. When civil society organizations have the capacity and are afforded the space to play this role, they can be a powerful force in accelerating transformational change.

Our Strategy

The Catalyst Project works to strengthen civil society organizations at the local, regional, national, and global levels to address child labor and accelerate progress on SDG 8.7.

The project aims to: 

  • Support civil society organizations to advocate for improved national and local policies that address child labor;
  • Build the capacity of civil society organizations to maintain effective networks of cooperation, sharing common challenges and best practices in raising awareness and implementing interventions to address child labor; 
  • Analyze and raise awareness concerning policy gaps at local and national levels;
  • Pilot approaches to involve communities in addressing child labor in specific geographical areas, including by sensitizing children and communities on their rights to become agents of change; 
  • Establish functioning child labor monitoring systems; and 
  • Promote the adoption of a child labor free seal in Peru.
Global March Against Child Labor
Implementing Partners:
Centro de Estudios Sociales y Publicaciones and Desarrollo y Autogestión (Peru), Swatantrata Abhiyan (Nepal), The African Network for Prevention Against Child Abuse and Neglect (Uganda)
Contact Information: / Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)
Child Labor
Civil Society Organizations
Target 8.7
Worker Voice