What Are Child Labor Statistics?

Child labor statistics can be found through the United Nations, UNICEF and through the International Labour Organization. Here are some of the most staggering statistics around this devastating global issue:

160 million children worldwide are involved in some form of child labor[1]

Of those, more boys than girls are affected in every age group[2]

The agricultural sector employs the most children[3]

79 million of the children in labor are in dangerous conditions[4]

Sub-Saharan Africa has had the largest increase since 2016 with an additional 16 million children[5]

7.2 million children are engaged in forms of domestic work that equate to child labor[6]

What these statistics don’t show are the children in human trafficking, prostitution or pornography. These children are largely hidden from view, so it’s likely the numbers are higher than can be accurately collected.

Many different situations lead to children working. It can start simply enough where a family needs extra help earning money, as millions of families live at or below the poverty level. It’s when helping out turns into what the International Labour Organization describes as, “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.”[7]

Are they missing school because of the work? Are they working so many hours that they are losing sleep? Are they injured because of their work? There are millions of children who work more hours and in more dangerous situations than adults.[8]

GFA World sees their plight and knows that helping parents to keep their kids in school is one of the best ways to ensure that children are saved from and out of child labor. To help provide a solution to child labor, we have created our Child Sponsorship Program, which supports individual children and their families in many areas of their life, including education.

GFA missionaries are always looking for those children who are at risk for falling into the traps of poverty, which often includes child labor. They speak with the parents about enrolling their child, helping them to understand the benefits, which will set their child on a path out of poverty and into a brighter future.

You can be one of the many sponsors who help change the life of a child from thousands of miles away. Just $35 a month helps a child and their family with key assistance like tutoring, nutritious food, clean water and medical care that give that child the best chance at a better life. Change a child’s life today.

Learn more about what is child labor

[1] “World Day Against Child Labour.” United Nations. https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-day-against-child-labour. Accessed October 26, 2022.
[2] “Child Labour is More Prevalant Among Boys than Girls at Every Age.” International Labour Organization. https://www.ilo.org/ipec/ChildlabourstatisticsSIMPOC/WCMS_817700/lang–en/index.htm. Accessed October 27, 2022.
[3] “The agricultural sector accounts for the largest share of child labour worldwide.” International Labour Organization. https://www.ilo.org/ipec/ChildlabourstatisticsSIMPOC/WCMS_817701/lang–en/index.htm. Accessed October 27, 2022.
[4] “Child Labour: Global estimates 2020, trends and the road forward.” UNICEF. https://data.unicef.org/resources/child-labour-2020-global-estimates-trends-and-the-road-forward. June 2021.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] “What is child labour.” International Labour Organization. https://www.ilo.org/ipec/facts/lang–en/index.htm. Accessed October 27, 2022.
[8] “Hazardous child labour.” International Labour Organization. https://www.ilo.org/ipec/facts/WorstFormsofChildLabour/Hazardouschildlabour/lang–en/index.htm. Accessed October 27, 2022.
* Cover Photo: “Child labor.” UNAMID. https://www.flickr.com/photos/unamid-photo/9172806125. April 19, 2010.