U.S. Statement On World Day Against Child Labor
Gonzalo Gallegos, Director of Press Relations
June 12, 2008
World Day Against Child Labor
The United States recognizes that eliminating exploitative child labor, particularly in its worst forms, requires a multi-faceted and sustainable approach. In support of today's World Day Against Child Labor, we join others in the international community in highlighting the urgency of providing meaningful educational alternatives to reduce such child labor.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that some 165 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are involved in child labor, often in hazardous and exploitative conditions.
A childhood free from exploitative labor is a compelling example of what President George W. Bush has referred to as the "non-negotiable demands of human dignity." The U.S. Department of State calls attention to global trends in child labor each year in both its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the Trafficking in Persons Report.
In addition, the State Department engages widely through its diplomatic missions and in partnership with key stakeholders to develop effective approaches to combat exploitative child labor. On June 17, the Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor will co-host with the Belgian Government a Multi-stakeholder Forum on Cocoa Labor Issues to address hazardous forms of child labor.
This dialogue will be an opportunity for a number of key governments and representatives from NGOs, companies, and other relevant organizations to share best practices and discuss approaches to eliminating the worst forms of child labor in the cocoa supply chain.
Released on June 12, 2008