Worldwide, as many as 152 million children have jobs. They earn a few cents an hour and they simply do not have enough time to go to school and improve their future prospects. 72 million children are forced to work in dangerous and unhealthy conditions.Terre des Hommes is committed to millions of children who face these worst forms of child labour.

What does Terre des Hommes do?

Poverty often leads to child labour. Parents regard their children as additional sources of income. War, migration and discrimination against minorities also leads to child labour. The common belief is that child labour is ‘normal’. Terre des Hommes fights child labour by:

  • providing medical care and improving risky working conditions;
  • raising awareness among local communities on the common disastrous consequences of dangerous and poorly paid work, the importance of health care and the need for education for the child;
  • educating parents to prevent the next generation from ending up in the vicious circle of poverty; 
  • enabling as many children as possible to attend school (again);
  • lobbying in government bodies to counter child exploitation and to put child rights on the agenda.

Where does child labour exist? 

Child exploitation exists all over the world. Terre des Hommes runs programmes to stop child labour in Asia, Africa and South-America.  

What is child labour?

Child labour comes in many forms. It can be visible or invisible. Many children work at dump sites, cut stones, work in small factories, car workshops or as a carrier in ports or on construction sites. Parents also sent their out to go begging on the streets. Others work as prostitutes or domestic slaves. The children perform exhausting work for many hours in a row, often in unhealthy and hazardous conditions. The work is physically, psychologically and/or morally harmful for children. Terre des Hommes uses the definition of child labour stated in Convention 182 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) about the worst forms of child labour: 

  • (a) all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict; 
  • (b) the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances;
  • (c) the use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in the relevant international treaties;
  • (d) work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.

Join us

Children that are victim of exploitation need protetcion. Together with our partners and donors we provide shelter, care and education. We also help parents to increase their income. We already helped thousands of children, but their is still a long way to go. Join the fight against child exploitation.


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