World Fit for Children targets: Elaborate and implement strategies to protect children from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous, interfere with their education or be harmful to their health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development; strengthen the collection and analysis of data on child labour
One in six children 5–14 years old in the world, or 158 million children, is involved in child labour. Around 1 in 3 children aged 5–14 in sub-Saharan Africa labours, compared to only 1 in 20 in the CEE/ CIS region. Children living in the poorest households and in rural areas are most likely to be involved in child labour. Those burdened with household chores are overwhelmingly girls.
Labour often interferes with children’s education. Ensuring that all children go to school and that their education is of good quality are keys to preventing child labour.
158 MILLION CHILDREN ARE ENGAGED IN LABOUR
Number of children aged 5–14 engaged in labour, by region (2006)
CHILD LABOUR OCCURS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD BUT IS MOST PREVALENT IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Percentage of children aged 5–14 engaged in labour (1999–2006)
BOYS ARE MORE LIKELY TO ENGAGE IN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
Girls are more likely to toil in the home Percentage of children aged 5–14 engaged in child labour, by gender (1999–2006)
UNICEF defines children 5–11 years old as engaged in child labour if they performed 1 hour of economic labour or 28 hours of domestic labour in the week preceding the survey; children 12–14 years old are defined as engaged in child labour if they performed 14 hours of economic labour or 28 hours of domestic labour.
POOR AND RURAL CHILDREN ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE ENGAGED IN CHILD LABOUR
Girls are as likely to labour as boys Percentage of children aged 5–14 engaged in child labour, by background characteristics (1999–2006)
Source for figures on this page: UNICEF global databases, 2007, based on MICS and DHS, for 98 countries (1999–2006). Analysis of economic and household child labour is based on a subset of 30 countries (economic) and 65 countries (household) with available data.