THE CHILD LABOUR :SOME DATA
Millions of children work to help their families in ways that are neither
harmful nor exploitative.
They are put to work in ways that crush the right to normal physical and
This is the kind of work that the Convention on the Rights of the Child
seeks to end.
Often such children are as young as 6 ore 7 years old; their hours of
labour are 12 to 16 a day and their place of work is the sweatshop,
the mine, the refuse heap on the street. For example, in one small
carpet factory in Asia, children were found to work from 6 I the
morning until 7 at night for less than 20 cents a day.
Such labour takes an enormous toll on children, in stunted intellectual
and physical development, in chronic lung diseases and sometimes in
No one knows how many children labour around the world.
Some of the most
widespread forms (domestic services, agricultural and bonded labour),
are largely invisible to surveys and statistics. Yet enough studies
have now been done to indicate the scale of the problem. In India,
between 5% and 30% of the 340 million children under the age of 16
are estimated to fall under the definition of child labour.
In Africa, over 20% of children are thought to be economically active.
In Latin America, the proportion is estimated between 10% and 25% .
Child labour can be ended by enforcing existing laws, by media pressure and
by new laws.
The right of education can be protect children from economic
Increasing school enrolment and retention that will withdraw millions of
children from the workforces of the world.
Unfortunately, the children most likely to be exploited are those who are hardest to
reach with conventional schooling.