Background Paper for Exploring the Development of a U.S. Department of Labor Research Strategy on Child Labor and Forced Labor in International Settings

Last year, the global community pledged its commitment to put an end to child labor and forced labor when it included their elimination as part of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG number eight is “to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” and Target 8.7 calls for the elimination of forced labor and child labor. Given the urgency of addressing these issues, it is important to frame a strategy for their elimination based on a foundation of evidence. The purpose of this background paper on child labor and forced labor is to provide a general overview of the state of child labor and forced labor research and to begin to identify what research questions need to be asked to strategically fill gaps in response. This paper is divided into the following sections: methodology; international frameworks that guide the research; overview of research; possible future directions.

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