100 years of progress

The fight against modern slavery and child labour began over 100 years ago, when the League of Nations passed the Convention to Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery. 

Since then, a series of international conventions and global conferences have been instrumental in monitoring the state of modern slavery and child labour, informing policy making, and coordinating responses to the challenge. 

Alliance 8.7 works closely with Pathfinder Countries, Partners, and other stakeholders to galvanize worldwide commitments, including 2021 Action Pledges, and coordinates action to address many of the most pressing challenges around modern slavery and child labour.

Conference hub


South Africa hosts the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour. The programme includes forums, panel discussions and brainstorming sessions, and culminates with the Durban Call to Action.



The ILO organizes the first International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, which calls on stakeholders to make a 2021 Action Pledge, a concrete commitment to take specific action on eliminating child labour.

Conference stand


Argentina hosts the 4th Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour covering both the sustained eradication of child labour, the elimination of forced labour and the quality of youth employment. The ILO launches Alliance 8.7, a global partnership designed to align the efforts of those working towards these goals. 



The United Nations adopts 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including a target of ending slavery and eradicating forced labour and human trafficking.



The ILO adopts a protocol on forced labour, bringing its 1930 Convention on Forced Labour into the modern era to address practices such as human trafficking.



Brazil hosts the 3rd Global Conference on Child Labour. In addition, the first Global Slavery Index released by the Walk Free Foundation estimates that there are 29.8 million slaves globally.



The ILO adopts the Domestic Workers Convention, laying down the basic rights of domestic workers.



The Netherlands hosts the 2nd Global Child Labour Conference, culminating in a Roadmap with concrete steps to eliminate the worst forms of child labour by 2016.



The ILO’s first Global Report on Forced Labour puts the number of slaves worldwide at 12.3 million.



The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography is adopted by the United Nations as a protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It requires parties to prohibit the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Two more protocols are adopted: the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children.



The Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention is adopted by the ILO and becomes the fastest ratified agreement in the UN’s 101-year history. 



The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Workadoption was an expression of commitment by governments, employers' and workers' organizations to uphold basic human values.



Norway convenes the International Conference on Child Labour to consider the role of development and international cooperation in combating child labour.

Cover photo_CRC@30


The Convention on the Rights of the Child is adopted by the United Nations. It sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.



The Convention Concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment (no. 138) is adopted by the ILO. It 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 Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (no. 105) of the ILO cancels certain forms of forced labour still allowed under the Forced Labour Convention of 1930, such as punishment for strikes and as a punishment for holding certain political views.



The Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery is signed at the United Nations in Geneva, building upon the previous two conventions.



The Convention Concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour (no. 29) is adopted by the ILO in Geneva, banning debt bondage, serfdom, child marriage, servile marriage, and child servitude. However, it excludes “adult able-bodied males,” to whom legal imposition of forced labour is allowed.



The Convention to Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery is created under the auspices of the League of Nations and proposes to secure the abolition of slavery and of the slave trade.



C7 Convention Fixing the Minimum Age for Admission of Children to Employment at Sea was adopted in Genoa by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, on the 15th day of June 1920.



C005 - Minimum Age (Industry) Convention was adopted at Washington by the Government of the United States of America on the 29th day of October 1919.