International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour Stakeholder Meeting
2021 is the UN's International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to overshadow other crises and issues, it serves to demonstrate the interconnected nature of social problems and consequently the need for collective and international responses. The ever-persistent prevalence of child labour, which has u-turned with numbers of child labourers rising since the pandemic began, is a good starting point.
On Wednesday, March 17th, 2021, the Child Labour Network* organised a multi-stakeholder meeting to discuss actions and possibilities for collaboration during the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. The hybrid session, which took place in the House of Councillors Building and simultaneously streamed online, was organised in corporation with the ILO Office Japan, UNICEF Tokyo Office, and NGO Network for Educational Cooperation (JNNE).
Opening remarks were made by UNICEF Parliamentarians' Union for the Promotion of ILO Activities, which were followed by presentations on the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour and the impact of the COVID-19 disaster on children by the ILO Office Japan/UNICEF Tokyo Office. Finally, the meeting gave the platform to various stakeholders, including reports from NGOs on current strategies and activities for the elimination of child labour (Action against Child Exploitation, Kyoto-based NGO Terra Renaissance, Save the Children Japan), as well as reports from government representatives (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare) and the Global Compact Network Japan.
What is the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour?
In July 2019, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution designating 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. In order to achieve SDG 8.7 (the elimination of child labour by 2025), the ILO has pledged "actions" that can be taken by December 2021. They have been calling stakeholders to pledge their own actions, aligning to the ILO's three pillars of strategy: "Action", "Awareness Raising" and "Scaling Up", and four categories: regional, national, organisational and individual. Read more on the action pledge here: https://endchildlabour2021.org/take-action/stakeholders/. Submission deadline for pledges is May 15th.
*Acting Secretariat: Action against Child Exploitation