Writing competition: child labour

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Writing competition: child labour

Here are a few facts about child labour, to get your research started.

There are over 218 million children working as child labourers. This is roughly one out of every seven children in the world.

Where are they working?

Almost seven out of 10 working children are in the agricultural sector. 22% work in services and nine percent in industry, including mining, construction and manufacturing. The number of children involved in armed conflict has increased to about 300,000 over the past decade.

73 million working children are less than 10 years old. Every year, 22,000 children die in work-related accidents.

Standing out

Latin America and the Caribbean stand out in terms of a rapid decline of child labour. The number of children at work in the region has fallen by two-thirds over the last number of years.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of child labourers in the world, with close to 50 million children working. In the Asian-Pacific region, 122 million children are working.

In industrialised countries, about 2.5 million children under the age of 15 were at work in 2000.

Cost of child labour

The estimated cost of the elimination of child labour is US $760 billion over a 20-year period. The estimated benefit in terms of better education and health is over US $4 trillion. The benefits would therefore outweigh the costs by nearly six to one.

More info

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