June 12 was the World Day Against Child Labor, an initiative by the International Labor Organization to draw attention to the global problem of exploitative child labor. The ILO estimates that 215 million children worldwide are involved in child labor. Over half of those children are working in the “worst forms” of child labor, which include prostitution and pornography, drug trafficking, dangerous/harmful work, and work done under the conditions of slavery or debt bondage.
According to the ILO, the international community has adopted a road map that outlines steps for ending the worst forms of child labor by the year 2016. The number of children laboring worldwide has declined, but the rate of decline has slowed in recent years in conjunction with lagging economic conditions. Check out the video below from the ILO about the current state of child labor and progress being made to end it. (The ILO has a series of videos about child labor available on their YouTube channel, ILOTV.)