Press Release

Urgent action needed to protect children from child labour amid rising security concerns

Published On: Jun 12, 2024

YANGON, Myanmar (ILO News) — On World Day Against Child Labour (12 June) the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Myanmar urgently calls all stakeholders to fulfil their commitment and take decisive action to end child labour!

The adoption of the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) marked a significant milestone in the fight against child labour. Now, 25 years on, the universal ratification of Convention No. 182 in 2013, is an achievement worth celebrating.

However, the global fight is far from over. An estimated 160 million children worldwide are still engaged in child labour, with 79 million involved in hazardous work, one of the worst forms of child labour.

In Myanmar, according to UN reports, the security situation has deteriorated, with 40 per cent of the population living below the national poverty line and over three million internally displaced persons, one third of whom are children. The promulgation of the 2010 People’s Military Service Law earlier this year has further exacerbated the crisis, leading to an increase of individuals fleeing conscription.

Findings from an ILO study on child labour cases conducted in selected states of Myanmar indicate an increase in child labour levels partly driven, amongst other factors, by parents preferring their children to work as means to avoid conscription.  This aligns with an ILO report on Vulnerabilities in Child Labour (2022) highlighting that child labour rates in conflict-affected countries are 77 per cent higher than global averages.

“We remain deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation and escalation of the conflict in Myanmar,” said Yutong Liu, ILO Myanmar Liaison Officer / Representative. “More children are living in poverty, facing movement restrictions, or displacement, making them increasingly vulnerable to child labour. Children should not be victims of conflicts in any form. Instead, they must be protected and allowed to continue to be a beacon of hope for the future of the country. On this World Day Against Child Labour, it is crucial for all stakeholders to honour their commitments to Convention No. 182 and intensify efforts to combat child labour,” Mr Liu added.



The ILO continues to monitor the situation of children in the country and supports partners in tackling child labour through community-based child labour monitoring, awareness raising and skills and livelihood support in the Ayeyarwady and Yangon regions, Shan and Mon states.

World Day Against Child Labour activities in Myanmar

For this World Day Against Child Labour, ILO Myanmar is launching a three-month campaign starting 1 June 2024 that will engage social partners, civil society organizations and development partners in training and awareness-raising activities across Myanmar and on social media platforms.