In July 2019, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted resolution 73/327 declaring 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. The resolution invites Member States and other stakeholders to observe the International Year through activities aimed at raising awareness of the importance of eliminating child labour and to share best practices in this regard. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has increased uncertainties for children and their families, it is crucial for the international community to build momentum for advocacy and action to eliminate child labour.
Significant strides have been made in the fight against child labour over the past two decades. However, despite a 38% reduction between 2000 and 2016, over 152 million children were in child labour in 2017, almost half of them in hazardous occupations or conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic further threatens to push millions more into the workforce, as job losses and sharp declines in household income are hitting already vulnerable families, putting pressure on children to contribute. The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has thus effectively become intertwined with protecting the rights of every child.
2021 will be critical for global efforts against child labour. To this end, Luxembourg, the European Union, the ILO and UNICEF will convene a virtual high-level event on 11 June 2021, ahead of the World Day against Child Labour. The high-level event will be an opportunity to discuss best practices in the elimination of child labour as well as recommit to ending child labour in all its forms by 2025 in line with Target 8.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The high-level event will also be an opportunity for countries to share progress on the Action Pledges they have made in connection with the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.
09:00 – 09:30 Opening segment
Moderator: Ms Sherine Tadros, Amnesty International
Opening remarks: H.E. Mr Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Luxembourg
H.E. Mr Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights
Speakers: H.E. Ms Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General
H.E. Mr Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th United Nations General Assembly
Ms Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF
Mr Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization
09:30 – 11:00 High-level roundtable: Best practices in eliminating child labour and achieving SDG 8.7
Over 152 million children are estimated to be in child labour. The socio-economic pressures that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on the global system threaten to push even more children into child labour. Children may also be trafficked into labour, including by being lured by the false promise of an education or to provide additional income in order to cope with socioeconomic or environmental stress. Refugee, migrant and displaced children are in particularly vulnerable situations. This high-level roundtable offers an opportunity to share and discuss best practices in eliminating child labour and achieving SDG 8.7.
Speakers: H.E. Mr Adama Kamara, Minister of Employment and Social Protection, Côte d’Ivoire (TBC)
H.E. Ms Ogerta Manastirliu, Minister of Health and Social Protection, Albania (TBC)
H.E. Mr Javier Eduardo Palacios Gallegos, Minister of Labour and Employment Promotion, Peru (TBC)
H.E. Dr Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany (TBC)
H.E. The Honorable Nimal Siripala De Silva, Minister of Labour, Sri Lanka (TBC)
Ms Siobhán Mullally, United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children
Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
Former child laborer (TBC)Statements by Member States and civil society in line with a pre-established speakers list.
11:00 – 11:15 Closing segment
Speakers: H.E. Mr Christian Braun, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the UN
H.E. Mr Olof Skoog, Permanent Representative of the EU Delegation to the UN
Given the evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the high-level event will take place virtually on Zoom and will also be broadcast live on YouTube and UN WebTV. Simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Spanish will be provided.