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.

ILO Forced Labor Protocol in Effect Today

When the employer of a migrant domestic worker takes her passport and refuses to return it if she seeks to leave, that is forced labor. When a family works at a brick kiln to pay off a debt, their children prevented from attending school, that is forced labor. When...

Make People > Profits: UN Special Rapporteur

Millions of workers in the global economy have been disenfranchised from their rights, either tacitly or deliberately by governments, exacerbating “global inequality, poverty, violence and child and forced labor,” says Maina Kiai, United Nations Special Rapporteur on...

Children in Brick Kilns Must Not ‘Fall through the Cracks’

More than 168 million children labor around the world, most denied an education and condemned to a cycle of poverty. The sheer number of child laborers underscores the need for reform in the many industries that employ child labor. Reducing and eliminating child labor...
Labor Dept.: Steps Made in Fight against Child Labor

Labor Dept.: Steps Made in Fight against Child Labor

More than 80 countries have demonstrated they are “upholding their commitments to abolish forced labor and the worst forms of child labor,” according to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, in the Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor report released today. More...

Uzbek Rights Defender Detained in Psychiatric Hospital

Uzbek Rights Defender Detained in Psychiatric Hospital

Uzbek human rights defender Elena Urlaeva has been detained against her will in a psychiatric hospital in Tashkent and the government should release her immediately, the Cotton Campaign said today. The Cotton Campaign is a coalition of worker rights and human rights...

New Video Documents Iraq Labor Law Passage

New Video Documents Iraq Labor Law Passage

Iraq unions successfully pushed for a new labor law because of their unified solidarity and with strong support of the U.S. and global union movements, according to a new documentary. “Finally, after 12 years of persistent and consistent work, the Iraq labor movement...

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