Source description last updated: 14 January 2022

In brief: The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) is the US federal executive department responsible for labour affairs.

Coverage on

The annual “Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor” report and other publications

Quarterly coverage on, for countries of priorities A–E (all available countries)


The USDOL’s mission is to “foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.” (USDOL website: About Us, undated)

The USDOL’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) aims to protect dignity at work, both within the US and overseas – including by “strengthening global labor standards, enforcing labor commitments among trading partners, promoting racial and gender equity”. (USDOL website: ILAB: About, undated)

ILAB seeks “to combat international child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking. ILAB’s Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking [OCFT] works with governments, workers, businesses, and others to end these abusive practices.” (USDOL: ILAB Fact Sheet, 2021)

The OCFT comprises a Research and Policy (R&P) Unit which “produces [...] data on child labor, forced labor and human trafficking and makes it accessible to the U.S. government, foreign governments, NGOs, businesses, and other organizations” working on these human rights issues, including through its annual “Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor” report (USDOL website: ILAB: Mission and Offices, undated).


US federal government budget

Scope of reporting:

Geographic focus: Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa (USDOL: 2020 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, 29 September 2021, pp. X-XI)

Thematic focus: issues relating to child labour, including child slavery, child prostitution, use of children for illicit activities (such as drug trafficking) and work that is harmful for children (USDOL: 2020 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, 29 September 2021, p. 3)


As the USDOL explains, researchers of the R&P Unit “work throughout the year to collect relevant data from public sources, U.S. government agencies, foreign governments, NGOs, and their own field missions to countries”. These data are compiled into the annual “Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor” report, amongst others (USDOL website: ILAB: Mission and Offices, undated). The report’s country profiles usually include a list of references (see, for example, USDOL: 2020 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, 29 September 2021)

Language of publication:



All links accessed 14 January 2022.

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