Causes of Child Labor

How Many People Are in Child Labor?

Many reports answer the question of how many people are in child labor. It is estimated by the Child Labor Coalition that 152 million children are involved in forced child labor and approximately 218 million children as young as five years old are employed.1 Those 218 million children are the equivalent of the fifth-largest country globally.

Here are more statistics and facts regarding child labor:

  • Children under 12 years of age perform up to a fourth of the hazardous child labor jobs.
  • According to a 2020 joint report from UNICEF and the International Labor Organization, global progress in ending child labor has stalled for the first time in 20 years. In fact, they estimate that the total has risen to 160 million in the last four years, an increase of more than 8 million children. Sadly, that is 1 in 10 children worldwide.2
  • The International Labor Organization defines child labor as work that “is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and/or interferes with their schooling by: depriving them of the opportunity to attend school; obliging them to leave school prematurely; or requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.”3
  • More than 134 million children in forced labor are employed in Africa, Asia and the Pacific regions. The top ten countries for child labor are: Somalia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Myanmar, Liberia, India, Ethiopia, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad and Bangladesh.4

GFA World provides positive alternatives for families in need in Asia and Africa. When families are given options, they often pick the option that is best for the education and welfare of their children. We provide helpful programs, including child sponsorship, adult literacy classes and skills training, and provide practical assistance such as income-generating gifts and more.

Removing the financial burden from a family allows them to make wise decisions about their children’s future. Will you join us in giving families positive alternatives to child labor?

Learn more about causes of child labor

1 Maki, Reid. “10 Basic Facts about Child Labor Globally.” The Child Labor Coalition. July 16, 2018.
3 “What is child labour.” International Labour Organization. Accessed February 2019.–en/index.htm.
4 Sen Nag, Oishimaya. “Worst Countries for Child Labor.” World Atlas. January 15, 2019.