What is it?
The use of children in industry or business, especially when illegal or considered inhumane.
In 1900, 18% of all American workers were under the age of 16 and 25% were under the age of 15.
They were useful as laborers because of their size. It allowed them to move in small space in factories or mines where adults couldn't fit. Children were also a lot easier to manage. They could also be paid less than adults.
Child labor refers to the employment of children in any work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful.
- Australia annually imports $16 million worth of tobacco produced by child labor, including tobacco produced in the U.S. Tobacco cultivation is extremely labor intensive and children are often subjected to serious health risks including nicotine poisoning. Most cigarette smokers in Australia are unaware of the origins of the tobacco they consume.
- According to the ILO, 168 million children worldwide are engaged in child labor as of 2013.
- Of these 168 million children, 85 million are engaged in what the ILO deems “hazardous work.”
- According to a study conducted by the ILO in 2004, the benefits of eradicating child labor would “outweigh costs by nearly six to one.”
- The sub-Saharan African region has the second highest number of child laborers in the world; about 59 million in 2012. According to the Pew Research Center, children aged five to 17, or 21.4 percent, are involved in child labor while 10.4 percent are engaged in hazardous work.
- Agriculture accounts for 60 percent of child labor according to the ILO.
- Only one out of five children involved in child labor is paid for his or her work.
- The majority of children in child labor perform unpaid family work.
- The 10 countries that Maple-croft listed as the worst countries for child labor in 2012 included Pakistan, Afghanistan, North Korea and Myanmar. The other six countries were all in Africa: Sudan, DR Congo, Somalia, Ethiopia, Burundi and Zimbabwe.
- About 60 percent of children in Ethiopia are engaged in some form of child labor. Many of these children work in the mining industry; an industry that poses some of the biggest dangers for child laborers.
The Top 10 Worst Countries With The Worst Child Labor
- North Korea
- Democratic Republic of Congo