In today’s modern age, humanity has advanced in many fields but there are many primal issues that are holding society back from true reform, one of them being child labour. Snatching away their time of childhood, and facing unimaginable hardships, the issue of child labour affects millions of children every year. With millions of families in India losing their livelihoods, one cannot help but wonder how this issue might spiral?

But to change the narrative on child labour, inspired by Banksy’s mural of a young boy toiling over a sewing machine, street artists from around the world have taken to walls to protest against child labor, and make compelling statements about why we need to protect childhoods.

Hailing from different countries, these street artists are taking a stand against child labour, that we all need to.

1. Jorge Rodríguez Gerada 

The first artist and mural being discussed is the tallest mural ever created in New York City by Jorge Rodríguez Gerada, a Cuban-American Contemporary Artist. He predominantly creates his work in urban spaces on a large scale. The mural he created in Midtown wasn’t just painted to advocate against child labor and child trafficking but was also painted to celebrate the centennial of the International Labor Organization that promotes decent work for all.

2.Victoria VillasannaZabou

Victoria Villasanna, a Mexican street artist, and Zabou, a French street artist, took to the streets of London to deliver a powerful message about the plights of children forced into labor. They painted murals of two children; one holding a basket of clothes on her head and another with a shovel over his shoulder. Both look forlorn. It’s no doubt that the passerby’s who glimpse at these murals are moved and touched by the message it sends. Zabou even said ‘if they look at it, it’s the first win.

3. Trust Icon

Trust Icon is an artist from Southwest London who during his Genuine Article exhibition showcased a moving mural centering on child labor among many others. The mural shows three children carrying bright pieces of Lego atop their heads, no doubt on their way to build something, at the behest of an older man. The paintings outline the loss of childhood these children suffer. The pieces of Lego once represented the carefree youth of children but in the mural demonstrate how youth has been stripped away to a more horrifying reality that these children endure.

4. Icy & Sot

All the way back in 2006, Icy and his younger brother Sot had begun crafting stencils for their artwork in their home in Tabriz, Iran. Years later, their stencils didn’t just grace the walls of their home country but travelled to other nations as well. The most striking thing about their work is their ingrained focus on human rights issues, child labor in particular. An example would be the following painting that depicts a young child holding a baby in her arms, looking afraid and alone.


Sampsa is a pseudonymous Finnish street artist and political activist whose works have appeared all over Europe and even across the Atlantic in the United States. Sampsa has created works on numerous human rights issues, including the violation of the rights of children. An example of his work would be a mural where a child is painted with a target on his head from a corporate labor machine. The young boy’s shirt has the words ‘think different to child labor’.


Tyler is a street artist who mainly operates on the walls of Mumbai, India, and often posts his work to his Instagram account so it can reach as wide an audience as possible. During Christmas, Tyler took to the streets to challenge child labor in a satirical mural using the story of Santa Claus and his reindeer to send a pointed message to society. The mural shows a child pushing a wagon of gifts while Santa Claus is controlling the reindeer. It’s another metaphor for how child labor strips the youth from children.

7. Lois Ercolessi

Lois Ercolessi is a French painter and street artist who came to New York to team up with the International Labor Organization to create awareness through New York city for the rising issue of child labor. His mural tells the story of young Ibraham who spent his childhood picking cocoa beans. Child trafficking became a huge issue when many journalist pieces discovered the plight of a large number of children who had been trafficked to the Ivory Coast to farm cocoa.