Since 2003, we have worked to end all forms of child labor. Now a new alliance, Work: No Child’s Business, aims for all children and youth to be free from child labor and enjoy their rights to quality education and (future) decent work.

Why we are fighting child labor

Hivos believes all people have the right – and the ability – to shape their lives on the basis of personal choices. But not when the choices of some determine the fate of others, as in the case of child labor.

All work done by children under the age of 15 and dangerous work done by children under the age of 18 is considered child labor. 152 million children between 5 and 17 are involved in child labor worldwide. This means almost one in ten of all children. Although child labor has declined over the past 15 years, progress has slowed more recently.

It is essential to help them back to school and keep them there. Ensuring quality formal education and preparing children to enter decent youth employment will lead to development and better opportunities for everyone: the children, their families and their communities.

How we seek to eradicate child labor

Providing access to education for all children is one the most effective strategies for eradicating child labor. To do this we need to work together on all levels. Our area-based approach tackles child labor where it occurs and brings sustainable change to communities. We encourage (international) companies to assume their responsibility. And we have developed Child’s Rights and Business Principles to help them find solutions for eliminating child labor in their supply chains. We also seek cooperation with governments. They have an obligation to protect child rights and are key in crafting policies and enforcing legislation regarding child labor, Responsible Business Conduct, education, youth economic empowerment and social security.


Cote d’Ivore, India, Jordan, Mali, Vietnam and Hivos leads implementation in Uganda

Results so far

From 2003 to 2019, Hivos coordinated the Stop Child Labour (SCL) coalition. Stop Child Labour and its partners played a crucial role in eliminating child labor and promoting formal quality education for all. By working closely with local communities and community-based organizations, SCL helped create 122 child labor free zones. And in the last six years alone it managed to get 63,000 children out of work and into school. With the new Work: No Child’s Business alliance we will build on this legacy, in cooperation with other like-minded global organizations.


Period and budget

2019-2024, €35 million


Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Alliance partners

The Work: No Child’s Business Alliance is run by the Save the Children Netherlands, UNICEF Netherlands and the Stop Child Labour Coalition. Hivos is the lead organization and hosting the program management unit.