Statement by the Minister of Labour on World Day Against Child Labour
June 12, 2022 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
Today, Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr., issued the following statement marking World Day Against Child Labour:
“On World Day Against Child Labour, Canada joins partners around the world in the fight against child labour.
All children, at home and abroad, must be protected and empowered to reach their full potential.
Children around the world should have the right to an education and the opportunity to enjoy the simple joys of childhood. Yet, in 2020, an estimated 160 million children were involved in some form of child labour and this number is at risk of increasing by 9 million by the end of 2022. This is unacceptable.
This is a complex problem. No one nation can tackle it alone. Working to combat child labour requires governments, industry and civil society to be part of the solution. This week at the International Labour Conference, I spoke to labour leaders, business leaders, and other governments about forced and child labour - because it’s going to take all of us working together, to take it on.
Poverty and gender inequality are often root causes of child labour. Canada’s promotion of responsible business practices and investments in children’s rights, education, women's economic empowerment and youth empowerment are helping tackle this issue.
During the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour in 2021, Canada made and successfully delivered on a pledge to conduct a risk assessment of federal procurement supply chains. This will help identify goods that are more likely to have been made or produced with the use of child labour, forced labour, or human trafficking. Our Code of Conduct for Procurement was updated so that suppliers know what is expected of them when it comes to upholding human rights. Canada will also continue to include enforceable labour provisions in its free trade agreements, requiring the effective abolition of child labour, the elimination of forced labour and the enforcement of labour laws.
We’re making progress, but our work is far from done. The Government of Canada will continue working with international partners and stakeholders on legislation to help combat forced and child labour in Canadian supply chains. We’ll need every tool in our toolbox to tackle this issue, and we won’t stop until we get it right.”
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For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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