In the context of calls to ‘eliminate child labour in all its forms by 2025’ we risk diluting our effort in countries with a significant problem by not focusing on where the worst forms of child labour exist. To have the maximum impact in terms of reducing immediate harm to children, the ‘Small Business of Child Labour’ campaign is calling for a very strong focus on the millions of working children caught in hidden and invisible spaces, often within thousands of small businesses mostly in the informal, unregulated sector.
Global brands, the visible parts of their supply chains, and governments are often prioritised in conversations about how to address child labour. Dealing with the unregulated informal sector is a far more complex challenge than engaging with a handful of large exporters, yet it is essential as the informal sector is where the most exploitative and dangerous forms of child labour are found.
By listening to children and raising awareness with their employers there may be immediate, and low-cost actions that can be taken to reduce the risk to them, for example, creating a safer, healthier working environment. Progress can also be made by listening to the voices of the small business community to understand the best levers and biggest constraints for meaningful and tangible change.
CLARISSA is inviting international agencies, CSOs and governments to get involved with the Small Business of Child Labour campaign. The campaign launched on Twitter on 10th November using #ShiftTheFocus. Following the social media launch, the campaign is convening a series of dialogues at country level with CSOs and government actors, leading to a global roundtable event on the World Day Against Child Labour in June 2022.