Media Voices for Children
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U.S. Legislation                      



2017 ANNUAL ILAB Report on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor prepares an annual report on the Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor in accordance with the Trade and Development Act of 2000. The TDA expanded country eligibility criteria for several preferential tariff programs to include the requirement that beneficiary countries implement their commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The TDA mandated the Secretary of Labor to report on each “beneficiary country’s implementation of its international commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.” ILAB carries out this responsibility on behalf of the Secretary. This report covers 120 independent countries and 17 nonindependent countries and territories designated as GSP beneficiaries.

2018 ANNUAL ILAB 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 of 2005 and subsequent reauthorizations. As of September 30, 2016, the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor comprises 139 goods from 75 countries.


ILAB maintains a list of products and their source countries which 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.

2018 Trafficking In Persons Report

The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue. It represents an updated, global look at the nature and scope of trafficking in persons and the broad range of government actions to confront and eliminate it. The U.S. Government uses the TIP Report to engage foreign governments in dialogues to advance anti-trafficking reforms and to combat trafficking and to target resources on prevention, protection and prosecution programs. 


Each year, UNICEF’s flagship publication, The State of the World's Children, closely examines a key issue affecting children. The report includes supporting data and statistics and is available in French and Spanish language versions. In 2016, the report was also released in Arabic and Chinese.



1938: Fair Labor Standards Act

Under the Fair Labor Standards act, children under eighteen cannot work certain dangerous jobs, and children under the age of sixteen cannot work during school hours. The Fair Labor Standards Act affected 700,000 workers, and President Franklin Roosevelt called it the most important piece of New Deal legislation since the Social Security Act of 1935. Read more about the act here.

1944: Prince v. Massachusetts

Sarah Prince, a Jehovah's Witness in Massachusetts was convicted for violating child labor laws when she brought a nine-year old into a downtown area to preach on the streets.  The U.S. Supreme Court held that the government has broad authority to regulate the actions and treatment of children. Parental authority is not absolute and can be permissibly restricted if doing so is in the interests of a child's welfare. While children share many of the rights of adults, they face different potential harms from similar activities. Read more about the case here.

1974: Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

In 1974 Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, which created the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect and allocated federal funding to states in support of prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse. It also provides grants to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for demonstration programs and projects. Read more about it here.

1978: Indian Child Welfare Act

The ICWA was enacted in 1978 because of the disproportionately high rate of removal of indigenous children from their homes. Before enactment, as many as 25 to 35 percent of all indiginous children in the United Staes were being removed from their homes and placed in indigenous homes. In some cases, the Bureau of Indian Affairs was found to be paying the states to remove indiginous children and to place them with non-indiginous families and religious groups. With hopes to remedy this, in 1978 Congress passed the ICWA, which allows tribes exclusive jurisdiction over child custody proceedings cases. Read more about the ICWA here.

1997: Adoption and Safe Families Act

The ASFA was enacted in an attempt to correct problems that were inherent in the foster care system that deterred the adoption of children with special needs. Many of these problems had stemmed from an earlier bill, the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, although they had not been anticipated when that law was passed, as states decided to interpret that law as requiring biological families be kept together no matter what. The ASFA marked a fundamental change to child welfare thinking, shifting the emphasis towards children's health and safety concerns and away from a policy of reuniting children with their birth parents without regard to prior abusiveness. Read the New York Times report on the ASFA here.



1789: Declaration of the Rights of Man

Passed during the French Revolution as a collaboration between General Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of the Rights of Man became a formative document in the history of human rights. The declaration defines a single set of individual and collective rights for all men. Influenced by the doctrine of natural rights, these rights are held to be universal.

Read the Declaration here.

1959: The U.N. Declaration on the Rights of the Child

In 1924, the League of Nations drafted the first human rights document approved by an inter-governmental institution. After considering a number of options, including that of drafting an entirely new declaration, the United Nations resolved in 1946 to adopt the document, in a much expanded version, as its own statement of children's rights. 

Read the Declaration here.

1973: Minimum Age Convention (No. 138)

Adopted in 1973 by the International Labour Organization, the Minimum Age Convention requires ratifying states to pursue a national policy designed to ensure the effective abolition of child labour and to raise progressively the minimum age for admission to employment or work. The convention (number C138 of ILO) replaced several similar ILO conventions in specific fields of labour.

Read the full text of the convention here.

1999: Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182)

The Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, known in short as the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, was adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1999 as ILO Convention No 182. By ratifying this Convention No. 182, a country commits itself to taking immediate action to prohibit and eliminate the worst forms of child labour. The ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) is responsible for assisting countries in this regard as well as monitoring compliance. 

Read the full text of the convention here.

2011: Convention on Domestic Workers (No. 189)

The Convention on Domestic Workers, formally the Convention concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers is a convention setting labour standards for domestic workers.  The main rights given to domestic workers as decent work are daily and weekly rest hours, entitlement to minimum wage, and to choose the place where they live and spend their leave. Ratifying states parties also take protective measures against violence and should enforce a minimum age which is consistent with the minimum age at other types of employment. 

Read the full text of the convention here


These are just a few of the currently running campaigns to bring an end to injustices children face all over the world


Over a Million Supporters Call for a "Robin Hood" Tax

Jobs and public services are at risk in the UK while many other developed and developing countries face a similar struggle. But there is another way. Thousands of Robin Hood supporters believe that banks, hedge funds and the rest of the financial sector should pay their fair share to clear up the mess they helped create.

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US Ratification of the CRC

The Convention on the Rights of the Child has become the most widely-ratified treaty in history, reflecting the common understanding that children have a right to survive and develop, have a right to be protected from abuse and exploitation and have a right to participate in their communities. Unaccountably, the United States is one of just three countries in the world to have failed to ratify the CRC.


ILRF Cotton Campaign Calls For an End to Forced Labor in the Cotton Industry

Uzbekistan's cotton industry relies on state-orchestrated forced labor of children and adults. The Uzbek government enforces these orders with brutal threats, detains and tortures Uzbek activists seeking to monitor the situation, and refuses to address the problem of forced labor.

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Conflict Minerals in the DRC

Conflict minerals are used in popular electronic devices. The sale of the minerals extracted from the Democratic Republic of Congo supports the armed groups that have murdered, raped and enslaved the population in the long-running conflict there. Six million people have lost their lives, with no end in sight. Avoiding the use of conflict minerals deprives the fighters of revenue and gives peace talks a chance. 

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KIND Fights Gang Oppression in Central America

The NGO Kids in Need of Defense specializes in matching unaccompanied children fleeing deadly gang violence in Central America with pro bono lawyers to help them claim asylum and stay in the United States. Over 68,000 unaccompanied minors made the risky journey to the U.S. last year, often confined in detention centers with no legal representation or advice.