ILO International Cartoon Competition 2021

 Deadline : 10 April 2021

Join the international cartoon competition on forced labour organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the NGO Human Resources Without Borders (RHSF), in partnership with Cartooning for Peace.

25 million men, women and children today are in forced labour – trafficked, held in debt bondage or working in slavery-like conditions, victims of violence, coercion and deception, threatened so that they can’t seek help and claim their rights.

Every country is affected. Victims often work hidden from public view and are difficult to identify. Many victims, in particular women and girls, are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation, but forced labour is also prevalent in sectors such as agriculture, fishing, domestic work, construction, manufacturing and mining.

Cartoonists can create cartoons that will raise awareness, inspire action and emphasize the urgent need to eradicate this severe violation of human rights.

As a result of the Covid-19 crisis, adults and children alike are more at risk of being trapped in forced labour. More than ever, urgent action is needed.

Did you know that nearly one person out of five in forced labour is a child? As 2021 was declared as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour by the United Nations General Assembly, it is time to shift from commitments to the action!

The jury is composed of representatives from:

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Human Resources Without Borders (RHSF)
  • Cartooning for Peace
  • The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
  • The International Organization of Employers (IOE)
  • The ILO Global Business Network on Forced Labour

As well as

  • Anousheh Karvar, Chair of the Alliance 8.7
  • Molly Namirembe, activist and former child labourer




  • The jury will select the winning cartoons of the competition and designate the following awards:
    • Best cartoons of the whole competition on “Forced labour”
    • Best cartoon on “Forced labour of children”
    • Best cartoon on “Taking action”
  • All submitted entries will be considered for the three awards.
  • Winners will be interviewed by the ILO and their cartoons promoted on the websites of Cartooning for Peace, the ILO, 50 for Freedom and RHSF.
  • A selection of the best cartoons will be used to develop an international exhibition and a major publication to raise awareness of forced labour.


  • Cartoons should not include any text.
  • Any drawing technique is allowed.
  • Cartoons must be sent as a numeric image format jpeg, A4 size, 300dpi.
  • Each artist can submit a maximum of 4 cartoons.
  • In order to respect the neutrality of the organizers, and because forced labour is systemic and all countries and supply chains are exposed to it, cartoons will remain general without mentioning any specific entity.
  • Artists will be personally contacted if selected at the end of the selection process.
  • Young people under the age of 18 must have the permission of their legal guardians to compete in this competition.
  • Cartoons that disregard any of the specified rules will not be considered.