Definition: Child labor is defined by the International Labor Organisation as “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.” 


  • More than 200 million children today are child laborers. An estimated 120 million are engaged in hazardous work.
  • 73 million of these children are below 10 years old.
  • The highest number of child laborers is in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The number of children in armed conflicts have risen to 300,000 over the past decade.
  • Most children work on farms that produce consumer products such as cocoa, coffee, cotton, rubber and other crops.
  • 20 million child workers are employed in factories that make garments, carpets, toys, matches and hand-rolled cigarettes.
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Countries: Some countries and related industries supported by child labor include the following:

  • Congo- copper and cobalt mining
  • Mali- gold mining
  • Ivory coast- cocoa
  • United States- meat packing
  • India, Brazil, Ecuador- agriculture


  • Cocoa/chocolate
  • textiles- cotton and silk
  • diamonds
  • garments
  • carpets
  • toys
  • matches and hand-rolled cigarettes

Click here to learn what you can do to stop child labor.