Child labour is a term that can be interpreted in various ways. Therefore, different views exist in the public debate on child labour. Some organisations argue that all forms of child labor must be eradicated, while others believe that children have the right to work, provided this is done in good, proper conditions.
Terre des Hommes believes both visions are too radical. A unanimous ban on all types of work by children is not in line with reality, as millions of children worldwide need or want to work. Some forms of work are harmful to the development of a child, others are not. For example, there is a significant difference between a thirteen year old girl in India who spends an hour a day after school helping her mother with milking cows, and an equally old girl who works in a stone bakery for twelve hours a day. The latter is an unacceptable form of child labour because it harms the health and development of the girl.
Terre des Hommes aims at combating these unacceptable forms of child labour that harm the physical, moral and spiritual development of children. As defined by the ILO (International Labour Organisation) Convention 182, these are the worst forms of child labour.