Statement by Minister of Labour on World Day Against Child Labour


June 12, 2023              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

Today, Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr. issued the following statement to mark World Day Against Child Labour:

“Today is World Day Against Child Labour. This is a day to remember the children who have had to work at the expense of their education, their safety, or their dignity.

The labour movement in this country has made Canada a standard bearer on workers’ rights. We have a responsibility and an opportunity to make a difference beyond our borders and protect children around the world from harmful labour. That’s what Canadians expect and that’s what we’re doing.

Canada is working with the International Labour Organization and other like-minded governments, unions, and businesses to strengthen the enforcement of international labour standards.

We’ve invested $2.4 million in World Vision to help Mexican labour authorities, agricultural producers and farm workers to eradicate forced labour and child labour on farms in the states of Sinaloa and Jalisco. I recently met with World Vision staff in Mexico City and heard firsthand about the children and families who have benefited from this project.

We will introduce government legislation next year that eradicates forced labour from Canadian supply chains and strengthens the import ban on goods produced using forced labour.

We’ve built in labour conditions to all our trade agreements. Workers make commerce and trade possible, and they should reap the benefits of it. Our Indo-Pacific strategy committed $25 million to raise labour standards and increase compliance with workers’ rights.

There is still work to do around the world and here at home. Just this year, Canada raised the minimum age for hazardous work from 17 to 18 in the federally regulated private sector. The changes, which come into force today, also mean that workers under 18 will not work at night or miss school to attend work.

Children should be children. They should be able to go to school and to have a real childhood. Today Canada joins countries around the world to remember our shared responsibility to work together to eradicate child labour.”

Associated Links
World Day Against Child Labour
Regulations Amending the Canada Labour Standards Regulations (Employees Under 18 Years of Age)



For media enquiries, please contact:

Hartley Witten
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr.

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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