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Child labour: EU Commission, 160 million children “trapped”. “Zero tolerance” approach

“In 2021, we mark the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. Despite the progress made globally over the years, in 2020, there were still 160 million children in child labour, with 79 million children trapped in hazardous work. This is a heavy blow, as for the first time in the past 20 years, we see an increase in the number of children in child labour. Millions of children further risk falling victim to child labour due to the coronavirus pandemic and its socio-economic consequences”, the European Commission and the High Representative said in a statement on the World Day against Child Labour. “The European Union has a zero tolerance approach against child labour. The EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child makes concrete commitments to work towards freeing supply chains of EU companies of child labour, as well as strengthening labour inspection systems for monitoring and enforcement of child labour laws”. The protection of children “plays a key role in the EU’s new strategy on combatting trafficking in human beings”. The EU “works around the world to eliminate child labour and to protect children through development cooperation, political dialogue, human rights, social, humanitarian and trade policies. Ensuring social protection floors and quality education are key factors, contributing to a decline in child labour, including during humanitarian crises”.

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