What is child labour- Any child
under the age specified by law worldwide works full time, mentally or physically
to earn for own survival or adding to family income, that
interrupts child’s social development and education is called “child labour”.
Any child under
the age of 15 engaged in activity to feed family or self is “child labour”. ILO
Convention 138 (C. 138) obligates countries to fix a minimum age for employment
that should not be less than the age for completing compulsory schooling and, in
any event, should not be less than 15 years. Developing countries may set the
minimum age at 14. C-138 provides flexibility for countries to establish a
younger minimum age of 12 or 13 for children to partake in “light work.”
Children’s participation in economic activity - that does not
negatively affect their health and development or interfere with education,
can be positive. Work that does not interfere with education (light work) is
permitted from the age of 12 years under the International Labour Organization
(ILO) Convention 138. So child engaged in part time work to learn practical
skill linked to social or inherited custom or crafts is not child labor. It
becomes “child labour” only when child weaves carpet or works in a factory or
fully involved in employment; earns money for own survival or to support family without schooling, social development. On the other hand if
child works for 3-4 hours to learn or earn for self or parents after
schooling, would not be known as child labour as is additional education and
practical skill that a child learns.
Definition of elements of worst
forms of child labour- all types of slavery, forceful hiring of children,
commercial and sexual exploitation of children, hard working condition. With
the change of world order future education system would be more practical than
present system of theory from books and notebooks. Each child would be
encouraged to involve in practical education that gives skill to survive in
competitive world. So, defining “education” becomes important to define “child
labour”. Thus any child works for pleasure, leisure, pocket money, helping
parents, hobby, aspiration, non hazardous part time work is not “child labour”.
“Child labour” accounts when child is forced to work under slavery, poverty, parentless or
social or parent’s boycott.
Types of child
labour- Self employed and employed with others are two
categories of child labour:
Self employed- street sellers, rag or scrap
pickers, street entertainers, child prostitution or pornography (but mostly they
are hired by notorious gangs), begging, and other odd jobs. These types of
children are mainly street children and rural migrants. Most these children are
parentless, abandoned by parents, riot or war misery. The situation changes; in
poor countries they are helping hand to the parents.
Employed with others- factory or mine workers,
domestic servants, child prostitution or pornography. Conducting work in other’s
premises or in other’s custody. Such children work with parents consent or are
parentless. Some are sold or some work to help parents to meet livelihood.
(some explained are my opinion may not be accurate) click the link
facts and figures
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Independent States enter the workforce each year without any formal
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Below are basic facts and statistics for each UNICEF priority area. Facts on Children: by (UNICEF):-
Child survival and development
HIV and AIDS
Water and Sanitation
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Child Labor Laws (the free dictionary.com)
- The specific purpose of child labor laws is to safeguard children against harm generally associated with child labor, such as exposure to hazardous, unsanitary, or immoral conditions, and overwork. Child labor legislation primarily applies to business enterprises, but in some states nonprofit activities are within the purview of the law.
Child Labor - Agriculture (Human Rights Watch) - Of nearly 218 million children engaged in child labor around the world, the vast majority—69 percent, or some 150 million—are working in agriculture. Child agricultural workers frequently work for long hours in scorching heat, haul heavy loads of produce, are exposed to toxic pesticides, and suffer high rates of injury from sharp knives and other dangerous tools.
Their work is grueling and harsh, violating their rights to health, education, and protection from work that is hazardous or exploitative. ...
Facts About Child Soldiers (Human rights watch):-
Today, as many as 300,000 children under the age of 18 serve in government forces or armed rebel groups. Some are as young as eight years old.
Both girls and boys are used as child soldiers. In case studies in El Salvador, Ethiopia, and Uganda, almost a third of the child soldiers were reported to be girls. Girls may be raped, or in some cases, given to military commanders as "wives."
Want to watch child labor movies (Just click this link)
There are an estimated 200-300 million child workers globally !!!
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Child labour is a prevalent problem in the coffee industry (library.thinkquest.org)
- In Kenya's central province, 60% of the workforce on coffee plantations are children. (Global March). Often, they are the children of migrant workers. They may start working when they are tall enough to reach the lower branches and old enough to identify which berries to pick. Children are involved in all aspects of coffee farming and manual processing activities: picking, sorting, pruning, weeding, spraying, fertilizing and transporting. During the planting season and harvesting season in Honduras, children make up 20% and 40% of the labour force respectively (International Labour Organization - ILO). Child labour in the coffee sector in Tanzania is reported as one of the Worst Forms of Child Labour by ILO. It should be noted that child labour doesn't necessarily harm the child. As long as the work does not interfere with the child's education, health and welfare, then the positive aspects of child labour should be recognized: "children learn as they work, participate in family activities, learn to be productive members of society, and help their families be more viable". (Tea & Coffee article) Drink Coffee. Help Villages. Born to change the world. Drink Pangeo Coffee and join in.
(World vision UK) The shocking reality is that:
An estimated two million children are enslaved in the global sex trade.
About 300,000 children in the world are actively involved in armed conflict.
Only 2% of disabled children in developing countries receive and education.
In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 12.3 million children have been orphaned as a result of AIDS.
World Vision believes that all children have rights, regardless of
their age, gender, race, ethnicity or ability. These rights are clearly
set out in the
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which was agreed in 1989. World Vision works to make a serious and sustainable impact on poverty
and its causes, especially as they affect children. We are committed
to long-term change, which means connecting people.
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- child labor use of the young as workers in factories, farms, and mines. Child labor was first recognized as a social problem with the introduction of the factory system in late 18th-century Great Britain. Children had formerly been apprenticed (see apprenticeship ) or had worked in the family, but in the factory their employment soon constituted virtual slavery, especially among British orphans. This was mitigated by acts of Parliament in 1802 and later.
Global March on UN Millenium Goals -
The focus of attention is to actively integrate all ‘out of school’ children into formal education systems. Children have the right to education at least until the age they are allowed to work (which is 15, while developing countries can choose 14). In addition, all barriers (for example: financial barriers) to local schools should be removed, by providing financial and infrastructural support About Child Labour / Facts & Figures (stopchildlabour.eu).
312,000 acutely malnourished children under five years old
admitted to Action Against Hunger’s centres for the treatment of malnutrition in 2006.
In 2005, about
children died before they reached their fifth birthday
State of the World's Children 2007, UNICEF
852 million people still do not have enough to eat every day.
FAO & The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2003
If food was evenly distributed across the world every human would have plenty to eat.
To save the life of a severely malnourished child or help people in their
struggle to feed themselves register your support today.
PUT Stop children dying from hunger
- Our Action Against Hunger starts
with you - register your support and help make a difference. (for UK)
Save the Children Facts and Figures:- One in Six
Children Lives in Poverty in America Children in rural America suffer the most - 20 percent of the children living in rural America — a total of 2.6 million children — live below the poverty line.
Poverty rates are higher for children in rural areas than those in urban areas — 20 percent versus 17.5 percent.
48 of the 50 counties with the highest child poverty rates in the U.S. are rural.
Rural children face additional challenges: Poor rural students face
barriers to education, including long distances to school and a shortage of
qualified teachers. Rural parents have the lowest education levels of any
demographic group, a disparity that affects their children. 54 percent of 4th
graders from low-income families scored below a basic level of reading
achievement nationwide. Poor children are less likely to graduate from high
school, go to college and attain a job that will make them financially
Hunger Facts: International(bread.org) :-
Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes--one child every five seconds. Every year,
more than 20 million low-birth weight babies are born in developing countries. These babies risk dying in infancy, while those who survive often suffer lifelong physical and cognitive disabilities.
The world hunger problem: Facts, figures and statistics
library.thinkquest.org :- Every year 15 million children
die of hunger. One out of every eight children under the age of twelve in the U.S. goes to bed hungry every night. Half of all children under five years of age in South Asia and one third of those in sub-Saharan Africa are malnourished. About 183 million children weigh less than they should for their age.
CHILD HUNGER facts and figures (WFP):-
Every five seconds a child dies because she or he is hungry. Undernutrition in children under the age 18 affects an estimated 350 to 400 million children.
For 21 dollars you can feed a hungry child in school for a year.
More than 70 percent of the world’s 146 million underweight children under age five years live in just 10 countries, with more than 50 per cent located in South Asia alone.
10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year. Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths.
One out of four children - roughly 146 million - in developing countries are underweight.
WFP provided school meals and/or take home rations to 20.2 million children in 71 countries in 2006.
It is estimated that 684,000 lives child deaths worldwide could be prevented by increasing access to vitamin A and zinc.
Iron deficiency is the most common form of malnutrition, affecting 180 million children aged under four.
Iodine deficiency is the main cause of brain damage in the early years of a child's life.
The Reality of Hunger(feedingchildrenbetter.org):-
40% of all emergency shelter food recipients are children, although they represent only 25% of the U.S. population.
13 million kids live in households that do not have an adequate supply of food.
A child who is unequipped to learn because of hunger and poverty is more likely to be poor as an adult.
Children who are hungry are less likely to become productive citizens.
Center on Hunger and Poverty.
Hungry children have a harder time learning in school, shorter attention spans, and suffer more absences due to illness.
Child labour facts and figures:-
CHILD LABOUR TODAY (corrystuart.com)
the internationally recommended minimum age for work is 15 years (ILO
138) and the number of
child workers under the age of 10 is far from negligible, almost all the data available on child labour concerns the 10-to-14
age group. Combining various official sources, the
ILO estimates that more than 73 million children in that age group alone were
economically active in 1995, representing 13.2
per cent of all 10-to-14 year olds around the world. The World Day Against Child Labour 2007 (scout.org) The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 70% of child
labour is found in this sector and the most recent Global Monitoring
Report on Education For All indicated that more than 80% of
out-of-school children are in rural areas.
Child Labour Facts and Figures(wfsnews.org): agriculture is one of the three most perilous work sectors. Yet, the
world over, more than 132 million girls and boys aged between 5 to 14
years are employed in crop and livestock production
Sex Trafficking: Facts & Figures(globalissues.net) The United Nations estimates that
700,000 to 4 million women and children are trafficked around the world
for purposes of forced prostitution, labor and other forms of
exploitation every year.
Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)
Recent figures from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) show that:Globally, 1 in 6 children work 218 million children aged 5 - 17 are involved in child labour world wide.
126 million children work in hazardous conditions.
The highest numbers of child labourers are in the Asia/Pacific region, where there are 122 million working children.
The highest proportion of child labourers is in Sub Saharan Africa, where 26% of children (49 million) are involved in work.
Child labour online (Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.)
Child Labor in the Cocoa Industry(laborrights.org) :-
The U.S. Department of State estimates that more than 109,000 children in Cote d’Ivoire’s cocoa industry work under
“the worst forms of child labor,” and that some 10,000 are victims of human trafficking or enslavement.
These child workers labor for long, punishing hours, using dangerous tools and facing frequent exposure to dangerous
pesticides as they travel great distances in the grueling heat. Check video -
VIDEO Chocolate and Child Labor PSA (laborrights.org)
Nearly 40 - 50% children among working-children
are street children. These children survive by begging, stealing, shoe
polish, street performance, collecting scraps, street selling and other. Some,
particularly girls, get involved into the flesh trade. The majority of children
on the streets in developing countries are rural migrants. Children migrate
with their parents and as a result of worst economical condition of parents, get
involved into odd jobs. Some percentage comes alone to urban cities due to bad
environment in their own home such percentage is less. Major percentages of such
children get addicted to use of drugs and their main work is scrap collection or
stealing. With girls it is serious issue as rural poor illiterate parents
abandon girl child to end up life in brothel or street prostitution and of them
some escape to streets begging, scrap collection and finally end up as
prostitutes. In developing countries; girl child is considered as disgrace in
poor illiterate orthodox uncivilized families. Nearly half of street beggars and
garbage collectors are girl children. Most such girls are neglected by parents
as are considered burden on them.
Urban children who turn as street children are
10% to 20% of street children. Family economical condition or unpleasant
abusive environment or abandoned by parents or mental disorder are the major
reason for them to leave home. Number of street Children on account of
unpleasant abusive parents in Brazil, U.K, U.S.A, and Mexico are extremely high.
Aggressive Movies and TV channel environment too
has contributed spoiling children to source money through ugly street jobs for
drug addiction; become street children. Also friend circle or family alcoholic
habit stimulates children to taste such life
(Above information is only my views observing and
contacting urban and rural street children, may not be accurate).
Click below link for detailed facts and
figures from various websites and sources for child prostitution - trafficking,
and street children; clearly indicate that number of child prostitution and
street children are increasing each day, each month and each year. Arresting
child labor in factories in several countries have opened numerous fields for
young children to opt alternate ways of sourcing money. New fields like
pornography, sex tourism, plastic items, plastic bags and garbage collection,
begging in streets, pick pocketing. Involvement of young children in these areas
is much-much more than what figures show. Collection of facts and figures is
tough job and may not achieve accuracy as such activities are hidden and illegal
and fear of getting caught by authorities does not help revealing correct
numbers. They can be seen in railway stations, national bus stops, retail
markets, main road sides, city garbage dumping places, over and under bridges,
unauthorized settlement areas, and in brothel areas.
U.S. Congress Cites Growing World Problem of "Street Children"
More than 100 million children worldwide are living hand-to-mouth, bereft of family and homes, and are "particularly vulnerable to abuse" in countries as wide-ranging as Uganda, Zimbabwe, Brazil and the Philippines, Representative Christopher Smith, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Africa Subcommittee said September 13. between 32,000 and 52,000 children known as "night commuters" travel from war-torn areas of Uganda "each night to urban centers to avoid abduction by the Lord's Resistance Army," a rebel movement that has battled the central government for more than 10 years. Democratic Republic of Congo, Denehy said, "between 25,000 and 50,000 child refugees, war orphans and other children, widely perceived to be street thugs, are accused of witchcraft or sorcery. They live on the streets throughout the country, and engage in petty crime, begging and/or prostitution." For Africa, Alton gave the following figures for street children: Kenya, 250,000; Ethiopia, 150,000; Zimbabwe, 12,000. And he said that many street children have been forced to serve as child soldiers, suffering death or terrible wounds. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), he said, the United Nations estimates that 30,000 children under the age of 12 are under arms, making up 10 percent of the armed groups in the region. At the same time, Alton said, "20,000 children are believed to live on the streets in the DRC capital, Kinshasa."
United Nations Environment Programme(unep.org)
:- What is the deforestation rate on Earth? - Worldwide, deforestation continues at an alarming rate, about 13 million hectares per year, an area the size of Greece or Nicaragua. Africa and South America have the largest net loss of forests. In Africa it is estimated that nearly half
the forest loss was due to removal of wood fuel. Forests in Europe are expanding. Asia, which had a net loss in the 1990s, reported a net gain of forests in the past five years, primarily due to large-scale forestation in China
What are the links between forests and climate change? - Trees absorb carbon dioxide and are vital carbon sinks. It is estimated that the world’s forests store 283 Gigatonnes of carbon in their biomass alone, and that carbon stored in forest biomass, deadwood, litter and soil together is roughly 50 per cent more than the carbon in the atmosphere.
Forests cover 30 per cent of the planet’s total land area. The total forested area in 2005 was just under
4 billion hectares, at least one third less than before the dawn of agriculture,
some 10,000 years ago. (1 hectare is equal to 10,000 square metres)