DOL Reveals Releases Annual Child Labor Report

DOL Reveals Releases Annual Child Labor Report

The new report aims to uncover and combat the worst forms of child labor.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released the 22nd edition of its “Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor” report, which sheds light on some unsettling new statistics.

According to a release dated Sept. 26, the report provides insights into the child labor situations in 131 countries and territories, including trafficking, forced labor, debt bondage, hazardous work and commercial sexual exploitation. The DOL also highlights efforts by various governments to combat child labor through legislative measures, law enforcement, policies and social programs. It offers over 2,000 country-specific recommendations to aid this global fight.

In tandem with the report’s release, the Bureau of International Labor Affairs released enhanced digital tools—including the redesigned Comply Chain website and an updated Sweat & Toil app—to fortify businesses and the public with resources to combat child and forced labor.

“For more than 25 years, the Bureau of International Labor Affairs has been exposing child labor and forced labor abuses around the world,” Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su said in a statement. “I am confident that this reporting—along with the updated digital tools released today and continued collaboration with domestic and international partners—will bolster our collective efforts to address labor abuses wherever they may be found.”

Moreover, the DOL cited estimates from the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, which claim 160 million children—nearly one in 10 worldwide—were subjected to child labor in 2020. This marks an increase of 8 million since 2016, with nearly half of these children engaged in work that poses direct threats to their health, safety, and morals.

The full “Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor” report is available on the DOL website.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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