Workshop to Support the Development of a United States Department of Labor Research Strategy on Child Labor and Forced Labor in International Settings
An ad hoc planning committee held a 1-day public workshop to explore the issues of child labor and forced labor in an international context. The International Labor Organization (ILO) reports that, as of 2012, approximately 168 million children aged 5 through 17 were engaged in child labor, with 85 million of them working in hazardous conditions. That same year, the ILO reported that almost 6 million working children were exploited in forced labor. And more than double that number of adults-- slightly over 15 million-- were also victims of forced labor. To date, a significant amount of research has been done on child labor and forced labor. However, despite the strides that have been made in enhancing the knowledge base on child labor and forced labor, important gaps remain. For instance, while it is recognized that poverty and lack of access to quality education contribute to children's vulnerability to child labor, there is still much to learn about the relative importance of these various risk factors. Additionally, in regard to forced labor, there is a substantial lack of country-level data and estimates. While gaps in the knowledge base are varied and wide, resources available to address them are limited. As a result, it is imperative that future research efforts related to child labor and forced labor are based on carefully considered priorities.
The workshop participants discussed the current knowledge base surrounding both child labor and forced labor, and identified knowledge gaps in order to assist the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs in the development of its research strategy related to child labor and forced labor.
The workshop objectives will include:
1. Engage in a multisectoral and crosscutting exploration and dialogue regarding the current knowledge base of child labor.
2. Engage in a multisectoral and crosscutting exploration and dialogue regarding the current knowledge base of forced labor.
3. Identify and explore the gaps in the knowledge bases for both child labor and forced labor.
4. Illuminate areas where collaborative and cross-sectoral stakeholder engagement might fill-in gaps in the research and knowledge base.
5. Connect research with policy and practice in order to identify additional ways in which the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of
International Labor Affairs and other stakeholders might fill in gaps in the knowledge base.
The workshop agenda is posted on this webpage. A summary of the presentations and discussions (workshop in brief) will be released in late December 2016.