Around the world, 168 million children are in or at risk for child labour and current levels of crisis and conflict heighten the vulnerability of children to exploitation.

This week the ILO said that international standards now in place have reduced child labour by about one third in the last decade, and that now, employers and business commonly expect to eliminate child labour from their supply chains.

SOUNDBITE (English) Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO):

“From enterprises, we need a clear message of zero tolerance of child labour; they need to know what is happening in their supply chains and to back that up with action in their business practices and dealings with suppliers.”

And businesses can no longer blame governments when child labour has been exposed.

SOUNDBITE (English) Philip J. Jennings, General Secretary of UNI Global Union:

“If a business can sub-contract its tax affairs to some remote destination there is no excuse whilst they can’t discover in their supply chains where their suppliers are using child labour. The time for excuses is over. The political winds have changed. We have the Ruggie principles in place. We have OECD guidelines in place. We have the conversation here at the ILO on the supply chain. And we simply don’t buy the argument that it’s all the fault of government.”

The ILO said that communities can also play a key role in providing decent work for adults helps eliminate child labour.

Sunday is World Day against Child Labour.