Child's Labour: Working for Children

‘Serious work in social legislation begins with the protection of children.’ - Albert Thomas, first director of the International Labour Organization

The World Today Updated 26 October 2020 Published 1 August 2001 2 minute READ

Roopesh Parekh

Aged 16, college student from Leicester

Imagine living in real poverty. imagine knowing that without money for food and clean water your family is at risk from disease, malnutrition and, sometimes, death. Millions of children go through this every single day of their lives and accept it as part of their culture and society. So they have to work.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that there are over 250 million child workers worldwide between the ages 5 and 14, half of them working full time. Children as young as 10 work in fireworks factories in India with no protection from the hazardous chemicals they use.

Yet the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) clearly states that: ‘Governments should recognise the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous, or harmful to the child’s development or to interfere with the child’s education.’ UNCRC, Article 32.

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