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Bureau of International Labor Affairs
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Child Labor, Forced Labor, & Human Trafficking

Everyday, millions of men, women, and children around the world are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation in the workplace. Global estimates also put the number of child laborers at 168 million, 85 million of whom work in hazardous conditions. The International Labor Organization estimates that there are at least 21 million people trapped in forced labor, including 6 million children forced into labor or sexual exploitation. Thousands of these individuals have been deceived and trafficked within their own countries or ended up in other countries to work in horrific conditions without the ability to leave. ILAB works to protect those fundamental human rights that are the foundation of workers' dignity so that everyone can live a life free of exploitation and full of opportunity.

Our Role

The Bureau of International Labor Affairs has been working to combat child labor, forced labor and human trafficking since 1993.

We carry out research, policy engagement and technical cooperation to advance the elimination of these human rights abuses. ILAB produces reports on the incidence and nature of child and forced labor and efforts underway to address these problems. We assist in the development and implementation of U.S. government policy, and also engage strategically with governments, business, labor, and civil society groups to implement models that work to reduce exploitive labor practices.

ILAB also funds projects using an integrated approach that helps children attend school and supports economic opportunities for adults so that families do not need to rely on their children's labor to meet basic needs.