The fair share campaign
Between 2000 and 2012, almost 80 million children were taken out child labour. However, progress has not only slowed, it is in reverse: between 2016 and 2020 child labour increased, with 160 million children in child labour, and almost half - 79 million - in the worst forms, including slavery, sexual exploitation and armed conflict.
By 2022, the ILO is predicting the number of child labourers will increase again, to almost 170 million.
The world has enough resources and knowledge to end this injustice for the 1 in 10 children enduring child labour.
If the world's most marginalised children received their fair share of resources, policies and social protection we could eliminate child labour once and for all.
But, as the world has grown richer and richer, resources have not been distributed equally, leaving the most marginalised children and their communities behind.
Since then, the devastating economic impact of COVID-19, and the unequal and immoral allocation of the $8 trillion in COVID-19 support, has meant those who needed the most help have received the least support.
As a result, millions more families are expected to be pushed into extreme poverty, which will very likely mean an increase in child labour for the first time in two decades.
2021, the UN Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, presents us all with an opportunity not only to prevent this potential rise, but also to reignite the fight against all forms of child labour and push for the breakthrough that is needed to achieve the 2025 deadline.
The fair share principle
Child labourers are mainly from communities that have been systematically discriminated against for generations. They and their families have so few of the world’s resources that children have to work so they can survive. It is a disgrace in the 21st century, when the world has never been richer, that 1 in 10 children live this way.
The Fair Share for Children report, informed by research produced by ILO, ITUC, UNICEF, FAO, UNHCR and other bodies, demonstrates that there are interventions that could be made to achieve this if the most marginalised children had their fair share. By securing a fair share for all children we will tackle intergenerational injustice and not only achieve target 8.7 but make progress on all child related SDGs.
Who we are
The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation US (KSCF-US) is hosting the secretariat of the fair share campaign.
KSCF-US envisions a world where all children are free to be children., To make this a reality, we are scaling Kailash Satyarthi’s almost 4 decades of work at both the grassroots and global policy level. His lessons learned guide the Foundation to engage children and young people as part of the solution, build greater collaboration between governments, business and communities, ensure effective national and international laws, scale know-how and successful practice and create partnerships with key stakeholders.
A history of achieving change
Over two decades ago, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and all the organisations in the Global March Against Child Labour opened the world’s eyes to the fact that 16% – or a quarter of a billion – of children were in some form of child labour.
The fruits of that work lie in the widespread public acknowledgement of the immorality of child labour, and the only universally ratified convention in ILO history being the one which was the culmination of the global march: Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labour.
Since then bringing together diverse actors for a global good can be seen in the enduring strength of the Global March and in addition, the power of young people as activists and advocates is being harnessed and, importantly, organised by young people themselves in the 100 Million campaign.
For this new campaign in marking the UN Year for the Elimination of Child Labour in 2021, the same principles of previous success will be applied: public mobilisation, coalition and partnership building, targeted advocacy for policy change and placing the voices of the most marginalised at the heart of the fight for children’s rights.
Child labour is not a standalone issue and working together in a broad coalition will demonstrate not just solidarity but also the criticality of taking a multidimensional approach in creating and implementing the hard but urgent solutions.
The campaign aims to include civil society in fields related to child labour (education, health, gender, employment), multilateral and intergovernmental institutions, and progressive business and faith leaders who support the campaign demands. You can see the latest list of our current partners here.