Labor Department Panel Looks at Ways to Reduce Child Labor Abroad

On June 10, a day designated by the International Labor Organization as World Day Against Child Labor, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis led a panel discussion in Washington among employers representatives, unions, aid groups and other NGOs to discuss strategies to combat child labor in poorer countries.

Also leading the discussion were Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Christina Tchen, the executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls.  This year marks the 10th anniversary of ILO Convention 182, which seeks to combat the worst forms of child labor.  Sen. Harkin said that much progress has been made since then, but that nations “must keep a light focused on this [issue], to get kids out of the worst forms of child labor and into schools.”

USCIB Vice President Adam Greene reported on the results of a USCIB-sponsored workshop on child labor, held last February in Atlanta.  He said main key conclusions included the need for all stakeholders to raise awareness of the issue, to work together and to focus on holistic solutions that address the root causes of child labor in the societies where it occurs.

Among the other business representatives who spoke at the event, Cindy Sawyer, director of work environment and workplace rights at The Coca-Cola Company, noted that her company has a firm policy prohibiting child labor in its supply chain.  But “no one sector or actor” can solve the problem by itself, she said.  “We need to bring together national and local governments, industry, and local groups” to help fight child labor.

Labor Department press release on the event

Information on World Day Against Child Labor (ILO website)

More on USCIB’s Labor and Employment Committee

Staff Contact:   Gabriella Rigg Herzog

VP, Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs
Tel: 212.703.5056

Gabriella Rigg Herzog leads USCIB policy and programs on corporate responsibility, international labor standards and corporate governance. She manages USCIB engagement with its affiliated organizations, U.S. government agencies, and United Nations agencies on international corporate responsibility principles, codes of conduct and multi-stakeholder initiatives, as well as international and transnational regulatory activities on labor and employment policies, sustainable development and corporate governance.
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