GRI 408: Child Labor 2016 sets out reporting requirements on the topic of child labor. This Standard can be used by an organization of any size, type, sector or geographic location that wants to report on its impacts related to this topic.


In the context of the GRI Standards, the social dimension of sustainability concerns an organization’s impacts on the social systems within which it operates.

GRI 408 addresses the topic of child labor. Abolishing child labor is a key principle and objective of major human rights instruments and legislation, and is the subject of national legislation in almost all countries.

Child labor is work that ‘deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to their physical or mental development including by interfering with their education. Specifically, it means types of work that are not permitted for children below the relevant minimum age.1

Child labor does not refer to youth employment or to children working. It refers to a universally-recognized human rights abuse. The internationally-agreed understanding of the meaning of child labor is set out in the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 138 ‘Minimum Age Convention’.

The minimum age for hazardous work is 18 years for all countries. Hazardous child labor is defined by Article 3 (d) of ILO Convention 182 ‘Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention’ as ‘work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.’

Due diligence is expected of an organization in order to prevent the use of child labor within its activities. It is also expected to avoid contributing to, or becoming complicit in, the use of child labor through its relationships with others (e.g., suppliers, clients).

These concepts are covered in key instruments of the ILO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the United Nations: see the References section of this Standard.

The disclosures in this Standard can provide information about an organization’s impacts related to child labor, and how it manages these impacts.

1 International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Organisation of Employers (IOE), How to do business with respect for children’s right to be free from child labour: ILO-IOE child labour guidance tool for business, 2015.



Effective date: 1 July 2018



GRI 408: Child Labor

1. Management approach disclosures
2. Topic-specific disclosures

Disclosure 408-1 Operations and suppliers at significant risk for incidents of child labor






Please see the GRI Standards translation page for available translations of the Standards, or to find out more about the upcoming translation schedule and how to get involved.

Related Standards

This Standard is to be used together with the most recent versions of the following documents.