This year marks the 20th annual World Day Against Child Labor. In those 20 years, we have seen a lot of progress globally to combat child labor. Unfortunately, in recent years, we have also seen much of our shared progress threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict and crisis, and economic instability. As a global community, we have a lot of work ahead of us to ensure vulnerable children around the world have the opportunity to grow, learn, and thrive.

This year's theme for World Day Against Child Labor is "Universal Social Protection to End Child Labor." Learn more about how the Bureau of International Labor Affairs is commemorating the day and working to end child labor.

A Message from Secretary Walsh on World Day Against Child Labor

Hear from U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh on the importance of ramping up global efforts to end child labor and advance workers' rights so families do not have to rely on child labor.

Social Protection Keeps Kids from Child Labor. Here’s Where the World Stands.

Family reading with child

Millions of vulnerable kids globally are falling through the cracks, putting them more at risk of turning to child labor to support themselves and their families. Social protection policies and programs can prevent child labor. Read more in this blog from Deputy Undersecretary for International Labor Affairs Thea Lee.

From Vulnerability to Resilience: Expanding Social Protection to Combat Child Labor

When families have access to social supports, from birth registrations to unemployment benefits to in-kind food or cash programs, they are far less likely to resort to child labor to weather an economic or social crisis. Robust social protection systems can help keep food on the table and kids in school and play a critical role in reducing poverty and inequality. But in many countries, these services are lacking or absent. Those already at the margins because of race, gender, class, disability, or another status often face higher barriers to access these vital services. 

This joint U.S. Department of Labor and International Labor Organization - Office for the United States and Canada event featured a conversation with leaders in the field about where social protection is having an impact in the fight to end child labor and where more support is needed to reach at-risk children and families.