Date published 7 June 2021

On the 10th of June The World Day Against Child Labour will be marked by a high-level virtual event. ILO-UNICEFs newly released global estimates and trends on child labour will be discussed and followed by a series of extraordinary connections between high-level speakers and youth advocates on paving the way to 2025, and highlighting efforts made to implement International Year Pledges. 
 
As part of this hard hitting and powerful conversation Marshalls’ CEO, Martyn Coffey, will address a question from Amar Lal, a youth advocate and former child labourer in the sandstone sector in Rajasthan, and now a child rights lawyer. Incredibly, Amar’s rescuer, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Kailash Satyarthi will also be speaking during this session.
 
Martyn says, “There is so much more that business can do to accelerate progress towards the elimination of child labour, and yet still so much ignorance within the private sector about what child labour actually is.  It is an absolute misconception that children labour alongside their parents in family businesses, perhaps as you or I did when we were young.  Many children in India are born into bonded labour and are enslaved from the day they take their first breath. 
 
Vulnerable children are actively targeted, snatched, coerced, trafficked across the country, bought and sold and exploited by organised criminal enterprises.  Legitimate business can have no part in this and have a responsibility to not only identify the parts of their supply chains where there is a risk of child labour, but to ensure they identify it and that children and their families get the expert support they need.  In the light of the new global figures on child labour business leaders must now step up, speak out and act in support of children’s’ rights.  We must all do everything possible within our power to accelerate progress towards the elimination of child labour.”