Whilst weak and unequal economic growth can also lead to child labour through its impact on poverty and labour markets, this report seeks to address the issue from a new angle: showing that eliminating child labour can in itself contribute to economic growth. This approach builds economic elements into the already strong child rights case for eliminating child labour, appealing to policy-makers who typically neglect child labour as a social or rights issue, when it is also an important economic one.
This report shows the different transmission pathways through which child labour contributes to slower economic growth, particularly where it is more prevalent. It draws clear links between eliminating child labour and the UK governments ability to fulfil its international development objectives. Indeed, several of the UK's Department for International Developments (DFID) policy commitments cannot be fully achieved without tackling child labour. This analysis is equally applicable to other development actors globally, including donors and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
This report argues that a focus on ending child labour resonates strongly with the following two DFID strategic objectives:
- promoting global prosperity: the UK government will use official development assistance (ODA) to promote economic development and prosperity in the developing world
- tackling extreme poverty and helping the worlds most vulnerable: the government will strive to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030, and support the worlds poorest people to ensure every person has access to basic needs, including prioritising the rights of girls and women