Child labour is a global issue that prevents children from fulfilling their potential. Child labour is a violation of children's rights - the work can harm them mentally or physically, expose them to hazardous situations or stop them from going to school.
Not all work done by children is classed as child labour. There is not an issue when a child is working to progress their life skills without compromising their health, their well-being or their education. Often older children may do chores for their parents or small jobs to earn pocket money or gain work experience. This work prepares them for their adult working life.
But around the world, millions of children do work in child labour. They work in fields, in factories, down mines, as servants or maids, or selling goods in the street or at markets. Girls are more likely than boys to do domestic work, such as cleaning, making food and serving.
The work that children can be forced to do might also be illegal - such as working with drug gangs or in prostitution. Many children may get no money for the work they do but they will get food and a place to sleep. If they become sick or injured, most children will not get any money for missing work.
All these forms of child labour can prevent a child from going to school and limit their opportunity to fulfil their potential. Many child labourers never go to school or drop out. Some Unknown Facts are:
1. Worldwide 218 million children between 5 and 17 years are in employment; 152 million are victims of child labour.
2. Almost half of them, 73 million, work in hazardous child labour.
3. Hazardous child labour is most prevalent among the 15-17 years old.
4. Nevertheless, up to a fourth of all hazardous child labour (19 million) is done by children less than 12 years old.
5. In absolute terms, almost half of child labour (72.1 million) is to be found in Africa; 62.1 million in the Asia and the Pacific; 10.7 million in the Americas; 1.2 million in the Arab States and 5.5 million in Europe and Central Asia.
6. ldren in Africa (19.6%) are in child labour, whilst prevalence in other regions is between 3% and 7%: 2.9% in the Arab States (1 in 35 children); 4.1% in Europe and Central Asia (1 in 25); 5.3% in the Americas (1 in 19) and 7.4% in Asia and the Pacific region (1 in 14).
7. Almost half of all 152 million children victims of child labour are aged 5-11 years; 42 million (28%) are 12-14 years old; and 37 million (24%) are 15-17 years old.
8. Among 152 million children in child labour, 88 million are boys and 64 million are girls.
9. 58% of all children in child labour and 62% of all children in hazardous work are boys. Boys appear to face a greater risk of child labour than girls, but this may also be a reflection of an under-reporting of girls’ work, particularly in domestic child labour.
10. Child labour is concentrated primarily in agriculture (71%), which includes fishing, forestry, livestock herding and aquaculture, and comprises both subsistence and commercial farming; 17% in Services; and 12% in the Industrial sector, including mining