Child Labor

child labor, girl making bricks in India, worker rights, Solidarity Center

Credit: Kay Chernush


Millions of children are not in school today because they are forced to work. Children as young as 5 years old are part of the global workforce. In factories and in fields, children work up to 15 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Solidarity Center partners with unions around the world that are championing and negotiating economic benefits in the workplace which often enable adult workers to support their families without sending their children to work. Through collective bargaining with employers, unions also can bargain for worker access to schools or daycare facilities.

The Solidarity Center also joins with advocacy partners like the Child Labor Coalition and Global March Against Child Labor to champion legal and regulatory means to end child labor and with human rights organizations to address the structural conditions that lead to child labor. For instance, together with coalition partners in the Cotton Campaign, the Solidarity Center worked for an end to child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields where government-run cotton harvests have forced citizens of all ages to toil each fall.

‘Kailash’ Film Marks World Day Against Child Labor

“I have one single mission: Every child should be free to be a child.” Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi proclaimed this ambitious mission in the new documentary, Kailash, which depicts the fight to end child labor through the Global March Against Child Labor and...

Ending Child Labor: 20 Years On, Change Is Working

On a warm, dusty day on the Deccan plateau in April 1994, I joined Kailash Satyarthi’s Bharat Yatra, (Indian Journey), a group of 150 child labor activists part-way through its march from the southern tip of India to the heart of New Delhi, where it would arrive five...

Children Forced to Labor in Turkmenistan Cotton Fields

Truckloads of children were sent to pick cotton during the Turkmenistan fall harvest, according to a new report by the Alternative Turkmenistan News (ATN), an independent media and human rights organization. The children, along with tens of thousands of civil...
Decent Work Forum: Sharing Strategies for Success

Decent Work Forum: Sharing Strategies for Success

Following heartfelt rounds of songs on workers’ struggles and union solidarity, some 30 worker rights advocates launched the second day of the Forum on Decent Work for Agricultural Women and Domestic Workers. Discussions centered on the lack of migrant worker rights...

Global March on Child Labor: Model for Action Worldwide

Global March on Child Labor: Model for Action Worldwide

“Trade unions and NGOs must work together” to end child labor, asserted Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi as he summed up a two-day gathering of more than 40 child labor activist organizations from around the world in Seville, Spain. Participants at “Forum...

Child Labor Returns to Uzbekistan’s Cotton Fields

Child Labor Returns to Uzbekistan’s Cotton Fields

In recent years, Uzbekistan has increased the number of public-sector workers required to pick cotton, because the country nearly ended child labor in 2014 after pressure from the international community, including the Solidarity Center. Recent reports, however,...

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