World Day Against Child Labour

World Day Against Child Labour

The 12th of June each year marks 'World Day Against Child Labour'. The theme for the day in 2024 is: "Let's act on our commitments: End Child Labour!"

The unfortunate reality is that 160 million children are engaged in child labour. That amounts to almost 1 in 10 children globally who are denied a fair chance in life due only to the country, gender or circumstances into which they are born. 

Child labour refers to work that children are too young to perform, that is harmful to their health and wellbeing and/or interferes with their education, leisure and development. 

Oftentimes the nature of the work these children carry out is hazardous and exploitative, they do not receive proper nutrition or care and many of them are also unable to attend school and have little time to play and just be kids. 


Through their Fairtrade Standards & Certification, Fairtrade is dedicated to fighting the root causes of child labour and preventing abuse and exploitation of children. 

Specific criteria in the Fairtrade Standards include:

  • Children below the age of 15 are not to be employed by Fairtrade organisations.
  • Children below the age of 18 cannot undertake work that jeopardises their schooling or their development. 
  • Children are only allowed to help on family farms under strict conditions. The work must be age appropriate and be done outside of school hours, or during holidays. 
  • In regions with a high likelihood of child labour, small producer organisations are encouraged to include a mitigation and elimination plan in their Fairtrade Development Plan.
  • If an organisation has identified child labour as a risk, the organisation must implement policy and procedures to prevent children from being employed.



Compliance with these standards is strictly monitored through inspections and audits. Fairtrade guarantees that if breaches to child labour requirements are found, immediate action will be taken to protect the impacted child or children. Failure to have adequate systems in place leads to suspension and then decertification if not addressed.

Because standards alone won’t fully address the issues of child labour, Fairtrade also seeks to address the wider causes of abuse, violence and exploitation of children and empower communities to take action. 

 Some examples of this include: 

  • Tackling Poverty, Lack of education and other root causes of child labour being used. 
  • Focus groups with young people in Fairtrade communities to learn more about their education, work, future aspirations and the impact Fairtrade has on their lives. 
  • Advocating for government regulation that requires companies to check for and take action on child labour in their supply chains, such as human rights and environmental due diligence programs. 

Education & Awareness

Farmers, workers and communities are also educated about the dangers of child labour, and the importance of keeping children in school. 

In addition, Fairtrade works closely and establishes Partnerships with local and international organisations to strengthen laws and regulations against child labour and to ensure children’s safe remediation and long-term wellbeing. 



Economic Empowerment & Community Development 

Ensuring fair prices and providing the Fairtrade Premium (the additional amount paid on top of the sale price) improves the financial stability of farming families, and this economic empowerment reduces the pressure on families to rely on the labour of their children for additional income. Furthermore, this Fairtrade Premium will often be invested back into community development projects such as school and health facilities. 


Fairtrade Youth-Inclusive Approach

Producer organisations in 18 countries so far have been piloting a ‘Youth-Inclusive’ approach to solving the child labour issue. Under this approach, young people and their communities work together to tackle the root causes of child labour. Children and youth identify risks to their wellbeing, map where they feel safe and unsafe, and together with adults from the community, design preventative projects to respond. 

All of this is why Fair. Coffee is Fairtrade certified, and why it's so important to purchase and support products that have this certification. Not only are you supporting producers and their communities to earn a fair income for their work and improving their quality of life, you're also helping to send their children to school, and to tackle the underlying causes of child labour. 

Make a difference and SHOP the Fair. coffee range now. 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.