|13 years old, female – Lifelihood. (Phnom Penh-Cambodia)|
Child labour and the worst forms of child labour, as defined by International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions, damage children’s health, threaten their education and lead to further exploitation and abuse. UNICEF does not oppose work that children may perform at home, on the family farm or for a family business – as long as that work is not a danger to their health and well-being, and if it doesn’t prevent them from going to school and enjoying childhood activities.
An estimated 246 million children are engaged in child labour. Of those, almost three-quarters (171 million) work in hazardous situations or conditions, such as working in mines, working with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture or working with dangerous machinery. They are everywhere but invisible, toiling as domestic servants in homes, labouring behind the walls of workshops, hidden from view in plantations.
Millions of girls work as domestic servants and unpaid household help and are especially vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Millions of others work under horrific circumstances. They may be trafficked (1.2 million), forced into debt bondage or other forms of slavery (5.7 million), into prostitution and pornography (1.8 million), into participating in armed conflict (0.3 million) or other illicit activities (0.6 million). However, the vast majority of child labourers – 70 per cent or more – work in agriculture.
Facts and Figures:
UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/protection/files/Child_Labour.pdf http://www.unicef.org/protection/index_childlabour.html
Convention on the Rights of the Child: http://www.ohchr.org/english/law/pdf/crc.pdf ILO: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/ratification/convention/text.htm