Conflicts, Disasters, and Child Labor

The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched World Day Against Child Labor in 2002. Every year on June 12th and throughout the month, we take the opportunity to highlight this important issue and to share best practices towards achieving the goal of eliminating child labor by 2025.

On Thursday, June 8, 2017, Verité participated in a Twitter chat to commemorate this year’s World Day Against Child Labor. Facilitated by Winrock International, the Twitter chat also included Alyson Eynon from Plan International, Jen Marlay Global from the Global Fairness Initiative, and Jessica Ryckman from Lawyers Without Borders. Program Director, Quinn Kepes, represented Verité to address the focus for this year: the impact of conflicts and disasters on child labor.

Available on Verité’s Twitter profile, on our Facebook page and by searching hashtag #EndCL, the chat started with an exploration of specific drivers of child labor during conflicts and disasters including poor access to education, family separation, and disrupted rule of law. However, as Mr. Kepes noted, conflict is not limited to war zones. Societal violence can drive crisis migration leading to increased child labor as seen in Verité research in Colombia, Ecuador, and the United States.

Measures to prevent child labor during conflicts and disasters include ensuring that schools can remain open, making birth registration more accessible so that children may access relief and social serves, raising community awareness, training law enforcement on warning signs of trafficking for child labor, and working with local employers to understand the rights of legally working children.

Some of the resources that were shared during the chat include the United States Department of Labor’s Sweat & Toil App, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and Verité’s Responsible Sourcing Tool.

For more information, please contact Quinn Kepes.

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