ILO, the Netherlands to take joint action against child labour

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Netherlands intend to work together to help eliminate child labour in Africa, with a particular focus on global supply chains.

The Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder signed a letter of intent to this end at a meeting during the UN General Assembly in New York.

“I very much welcome this new partnership with the Netherlands. By stepping up the fight against child labour in Africa, we can make a significant contribution to the global objective to end all forms of child labour by 2025,” Ryder said, adding that ” the Netherlands is one of the most committed supporters of fundamental principles and rights at work”.

Kaag also stressed the importance of the collaboration.  “We are delighted to further strengthen the longstanding partnership with the ILO in our joint combat against child labour.  Education is the right of every child”, she said.

The new partnership focuses particularly on global supply chains in agriculture - where the largest incidence of child labour is found - and in mining, one of the most hazardous working environments, where children also work.  

The programme is expected to generate data on child labour, improve regulatory frameworks and enforcement mechanisms, and empower workers, farmers and communities in supply chains to prevent child labour. The programme will use innovative approaches to identify and address child labour in selected supply chains and strengthen cooperation among African governments, businesses and civil society organizations.

The four-year programme will benefit the African region and its 72 million children in child labour through the promotion of partnerships and knowledge sharing.