Understanding Trends in Child Labour, 2017
Produced by the Understanding Children’s Work (UCW) programme, the ILO research partnership with UNICEF and the World Bank on child labour and related issues, this report is aimed at helping to explain the recent trends in child labour. It is designed to provide constituents with robust evidence concerning whether child labour policies have been significant, and, if so, which policy approaches have been most relevant and effective to date and have the greatest potential for accelerating progress moving forward. Research results will help inform the deliberations of the Global Conference on Child Labour to be held in Argentina in 2017.
The evidence presented here highlights the importance of an active policy response in explaining child labour trends. Progress against child labour, in other words, did not happen by itself – only a limited share of progress appears attributable to structural factors not directly relating to policy. On the contrary, much of the decline we have witnessed in recent years appears to be traceable to active policy efforts to extend and improve schooling, to extend social protection floors, to expand basic services, and to establish adequate legal frameworks against child labour. There is also a lot that is still not known about the factors driving child labour trends, even in countries such as Brazil and Mexico with rich data, pointing to the need for further research to guide efforts in the lead-up to the 2025 target date for ending all forms of child labour.