The fight against child labour is too slow

152 million children worldwide are still working. The number of child labourers is decreasing, however, the pace at which it decreases is too slow. In this way it will not be feasible to eliminate child labour across the world by 2025. And this is what the United Nations have agreed to in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Terre des Hommes urges governments and businesses to step up the action against child labour.

Child labour

The latest figures stem from an International Labour Organisation (ILO) report that was published this week. The figures are pretty bad. Around the world, one out of ten children is working: 64 million girls and 88 million boys. 72 million children are involved in hazardous and unhealthy work. Most child labourers are between five and seventeen years of age and live in Africa (72.1 million). However, children also start working at a young age in Asia, America, Europe, Central Asia, and Arabic countries. Approximately one third of the children between 5 and 14 years old who are forced to work, does not attend school. 38 per cent of child workers between the ages of five and fourteen, work in hazardous conditions, and almost two thirds of the ones that are between the ages of 15 and 17, work over 43 hours per week.

Promises must be fulfilled

Aysel Sabahogly, children’s rights expert at Terre des Hommes: “Terre des Hommes works hard to prevent child labour and to remove children from situations in which they get exploited, however, greater efforts are required to ensure that parents can make a decent living, in order for them to both feed their children and send them to school. Progress has been made, but there are still 72 million children who perform hazardous and unhealthy work. The global community has promised to put an end to this type of exploitation; that promise needs to be fulfilled.”

108.973 children back to school

Terre des Hommes fights against the worst forms of child labour. Last year we helped 49,461 children who were involved in child labour. We ensure that hazardous working conditions are modified. We educate local communities about the disastrous consequences of hazardous and badly paid jobs, the importance of healthcare and the need for childhood education. We are committed to giving as many children as possible the opportunity to return to school. Last year we were able to do so for 108,973 children. And finally we lobby governments to prevent child exploitation and to place children’s rights on the agenda.

No more child labour in 2025 

Terre des Hommes makes an important contribution to achieving the international community’s ambitions. In 2015, the United Nations have set new targets to take better care of the planet and humanity. These Sustainable Development Goals include a wide variety of themes such as jurisdiction, water, education, and clean energy. Development Goal 8 focuses on working conditions. In subsection 8.7 the UN undertake to ensure that child labour in all its forms is eradicated by 2025. We still have a long way to go to achieve this.

Let's help the others

Last year, together with our partners and sponsors, we provided aid to 49,461 children who were involved in child labour. We ensured that working conditions were modified, we educated people on the dangers of child labour and helped 108,973 children to go back to school. And now let's help the others. Will you join us? 

Learn more about the fight against child exploitation >>


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