The Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILB), which operates under the U.S. Department of Labor, publishes three reports on international child labor and forced labor that serve as valuable resources for research, advocacy, government action, and corporate responsibility.
- Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
- List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor
- List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor
Each of these reports has a distinct mandate, focus, and set of implications, but taken collectively, they document the current situation of child labor, forced labor, and forced child labor around the world.
ILAB as a Knowledge Generator
ILAB’s research and reporting are carried out under Congressional mandates and presidential directives. They provide specific, actionable information to various stakeholders about how to combat labor abuses in countries around the world.
- Foreign governments use the reports to strengthen laws, enforcement, policies, and programs for vulnerable children and families in or at risk of child labor or forced labor.
- Companies rely on these reports to inform risk assessments, conduct due diligence on their supply chains, and develop strategies to address the problem.
- Consumers use our research to minimize the risk that their purchases inadvertently support exploitative labor practices around the world.
- Civil society organizations, including academic institutions, use the reports to inform advocacy efforts to assist victims.
- S. federal government agencies use the reports to safeguard federal procurement and guard against the importation of goods made with forced labor, including forced child labor.
ILAB funds research projects that develop and pilot new tools and methodologies that deepen our knowledge and understanding of child labor and forced labor, including their root causes. ILAB programming has supported:
- The collection and analysis of credible data on child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking from over 90 national child labor surveys and 10 surveys focused on forced labor or forced child labor
- The development of new survey methodologies, qualitative and quantitative studies, and statistical guidelines on child labor and forced labor
- The establishment of global estimates on child labor and forced labor, which serve as the standard for measuring worldwide progress on these issues
Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
This report focuses on the efforts of certain U.S. trade beneficiary countries and territories to eliminate the worst forms of child labor through legislation, enforcement mechanisms, policies, and social programs. The report presents:
- Findings on the prevalence and sectoral distribution of the worst forms of child labor in each country
- Country-specific suggestions for government action (since 2009)
- Individual country assessments that identify where significant, moderate, minimal, or no advancement has been made (since 2011)
The Report serves as a resource to foreign governments, NGOs, academics, and policymakers working on labor and human rights issues. The report helps inform Congress and Executive Branch agencies that formulate labor and trade policy and serves as an important resource for the department in assessing future technical assistance and research priorities as it seeks to combat child labor around the world.
The Department's Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) has published this report each year since 2002, as mandated by the Trade and Development Act of 2000 (TDA). The TDA requires that countries fulfill commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor to be eligible for certain U.S. trade preference programs. It also requires the U.S. Secretary of Labor to issue annual findings on beneficiary country initiatives to implement these commitments.
List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor
ILAB maintains a list of goods and their source countries which it has reason to believe are produced by child labor or forced labor in violation of international standards, as required under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2005 and subsequent reauthorizations. The List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor comprises 158 goods from 77 countries, as of September 28, 2022.
ILAB maintains the list primarily to raise public awareness about forced labor and child labor around the world and to promote efforts to combat them. It is not intended to be punitive, but rather to serve as a catalyst for more strategic and focused coordination and collaboration among those working to address these problems.
Publication of the list has resulted in new opportunities for ILAB to engage with foreign governments to combat forced labor and child labor. It is also a valuable resource for researchers, advocacy organizations, and companies wishing to carry out risk assessments and engage in due diligence on labor rights in their supply chains.
List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor
ILAB also maintains a list of products and their source countries that it has a reasonable basis to believe are produced by forced or indentured child labor, pursuant to Executive Order 13126.
This list is intended to ensure that U.S. federal agencies do not procure goods made by forced or indentured child labor. Under procurement regulations, federal contractors who supply products on the list must certify that they have made a good-faith effort to determine whether forced or indentured child labor was used to produce the items supplied.
The Department of Labor, in consultation with the Departments of State and Homeland Security, publishes and maintains the list. ILAB released its initial list in 2001 and has revised it several times since then. As of July 13, 2022, the EO List comprises 34 products from 26 countries.
The list is required by Executive Order 13126, Prohibition of Acquisition of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor. The procurement requirements related to products on the list are set out in a 2001 Federal Acquisition Regulation Final Rule.
ILAB develops the list using criteria and procedures established in its Procedural Guidelines for the Maintenance of the List of Products Requiring Federal Contractor Certification as to Forced or Indentured Child Labor.
- List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor
- Executive Order 13126 List of Products
- All ILAB Publications on Child Labor & Forced Labor
The Office of Forced Labor, Child Labor and Human Trafficking is continuously collecting information and encourages submissions by national governments, international organizations, businesses and corporations, trade and workers' organizations, NGOs, academia, and the general public. We review all submissions as they are received. Submissions are welcome at any time.
To submit comments on or information for the TDA report, please email GlobalKids@dol.gov; fax to 202-693-4830; or mail to ILAB, U.S. Department of Labor, c/o OCFT Research and Policy Unit, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, S-5317, Washington, DC 20210.