Child labour

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What we're doing

World Vision works with children in over 50 countries

Our goal

To end child labour

Child labour: what's the problem with working? 

All over the world, children are being exploited through mentally and physically dangerous work. Child labour interferes with schooling and long-term development—the worst forms include slavery, trafficking, sexual exploitation and hazardous work that put children at risk of death, injury or disease.

Child labour is work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity. It’s dangerous work that exceeds reasonable hours and interferes with a child’s education.

Child labourers are vulnerable to abuse, and their families are often trapped in a cycle of poverty. In extreme cases, children are forced to work under threat of violence or death. Children can fall ill and get injured—injuries have been as severe as loss of body parts.

When children are of an appropriate age for the task, receive appropriate pay and work in safe environments, they can be considered “willing participants in work.” These children can balance work with school and play, and they develop the necessary skills to transition into adulthood.

… But child labourers are often deprived of these rights and opportunities, working in unfair circumstances that hinder their development rather than stimulate it.

TOP: Children sit behind a spinning wheel in India. BOTTOM LEFT: A young boy works with bundles of rope that can weigh 10kg each. BOTTOM RIGHT: Carrying massive bundles of rope to market is how this child helps feed his family.

Not only is addressing child labour the morally correct thing to do, it’s in Australia’s best interest.

Ending child labour is critical to the sustainable growth, development and technological advancement of countries that we rely on to produce materials, goods, and services that we buy.

In addition, we can create bigger markets for our own goods and services by increasing economic prosperity in other countries.

Child labour has been shown to increase adult unemployment and depress national wages. Using child labour means that workers are not being invested in or paid fairly, creating a society of adults whose skills and capacities have not been developed as much as they should have been.

Consumers in Australia can help through their purchasing decisions. Shopping ethically is a small, but powerful step towards ending child labour.

Many products that Australians love such as coffee, chocolate, and others might have been created through child labour. In many cases, children plant the cotton used to make the clothes we buy, mine the minerals for our phones and computers, or even harvest the beans in our coffee.

We all must work together to discourage child labour and ensure that families earn decent wages so they can support their children’s education. Australians can play their part in ending child labour every day by ensuring that they shop ethically.

Send a girl to school Education is vital for a better future. Help provide education for a girl so she can finish school and then earn a living.

The facts about child labour

73 million

between 5 and 11

73 million child labourers are between five and 11 years old

58 percent

in agriculture

Despite common belief, most child labourers are in agriculture, not sweatshops

One third

decline

The number of child labourers in the world has decreased by a third since 2000

World Vision fights for children all over the world—whether it’s helping survivors of exploitation return to normal life, or remedying circumstances that lead to exploitation in the first place.

In a lot of poor communities, child protecting structures don’t exist.

We’re working with children, their communities, governments, and even the United Nations to tackle child labour, and to put those structures in place permanently.

We’re committed to short-term and long-term solutions, providing care and attention to children who are already in need as well as preventing children from winding up in unfair circumstances in the future.

We work in over 50 countries to educate communities about the rights of children, teach people how to identify situations where a child may be exploited, and ensure that children know how to protect themselves.

We also work with children who have undergone traumatic experiences to help get them back on track.

Child labour declines because people at all levels work together, from governments to individuals. Ethical purchasing decisions by the Australian public have played an enormous role in this.

World Vision has played a big part in reducing the number of child labourers across the world …

… and we believe that with the continued help of our supporters who generously donate to our work, we can put an end to child labour once and for all.

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