Global Accelerator Lab Project: Intensifying Action Against Forced Labor and Child Labor
ILAB’s Global Accelerator Lab project will support broader and more effective action under Alliance 8.7, a global partnership to assist United Nations (UN) member States to end child labor, forced labor, human trafficking and modern slavery by 2030.
The project will strengthen Alliance 8.7 partnerships to increase knowledge sharing among Pathfinder countries at the global level. It will facilitate dialogue among regional institutions on forced labor and child labor, and encourage regional and country ownership of initiatives to reduce child and forced labor. In addition, the project will support countries to achieve their commitments to eradicate child labor, forced labor, human trafficking, and modern slavery, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals’ Target 8.7, by helping countries replicate promising practices and identify and implement new solutions.
More than 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery and forced labor, including those trafficked for work and sexual exploitation and those forced to work in jobs under threat of penalty. Women and girls are disproportionately affected, accounting for 71% of the overall victims.
In addition, 160 million children are victims of child labor; nearly half of them, 79 million, labor in hazardous work that directly endangers their health, safety and moral development. Nearly 7 out of 10 child laborers work in agriculture, and roughly 1 out of 10 work in the industrial sector, including mining. More than half of the world’s child laborers (86.6 million) live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some 26.3 million child laborers are in Central and Southern Asia; 24.3 million are in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia; 10.1 million are in Northern Africa and Western Asia; and 8.2 million are in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The COVID-19 crisis threatens to jeopardize global progress against child labor and forced labor. The ILO estimates that the equivalent of 400 million full-time jobs were lost because of the crisis in the second quarter of 2020, and 8.9 million more children will be in child labor by the end of 2022 due to rising poverty from the pandemic.
ILAB’s Global Accelerator Lab project will address child labor and forced labor at the global, regional, and country levels. The project will deploy innovative solutions to improve due diligence and transparency in supply chains, strengthen workers’ voice, and increase access to social protections.
At the global level, the project will strengthen partnerships and knowledge sharing among governments, social partners and Alliance 8.7 partners to reduce forced labor and child labor in sectors with a high prevalence of these abuses. The project will also assist Alliance 8.7 pathfinder countries or interested candidates to take concrete actions toward establishing sustainable partnerships to reduce child labor and forced labor. The project will share lessons learned from these activities through a global digital platform where countries and stakeholders can openly share their knowledge and effective practices.
At the regional level, the project will assist regional institutions to facilitate dialogue among target countries on child labor and forced labor and support countries in the region to implement and own initiatives to reduce the prevalence of these abuses. The project also will support regional exchanges of good practices on due diligence between businesses and other key stakeholders.
At the country level, the project will work with selected Alliance 8.7 pathfinder countries and interested candidates (Ghana, Nigeria, Malaysia, and Somalia) to implement innovative measures to reduce child labor and forced labor. In this work, the project will support the extension of social protection coverage to vulnerable households, and improve worker voice in target countries. The project will also support trade unions to better organize workers in the informal economy, strengthen worker voice, and expand their services, in particular to informal workers.
International Labor Organization (ILO)