LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Years of conflict and climate disasters have pushed millions of children into work, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
In 2017, there were 152 million children under the age of 18 working around the world, the International Labour Organization said in a report marking World Day Against Child Labour.
The vast majority work in farming, and their numbers are rising, according to a statement from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
“After years of steady decline, child labor in agriculture has started to rise again in recent years, driven in part by an increase in conflicts and climate-induced disasters,” it said.
“This worrisome trend not only threatens the wellbeing of millions of children, but also undermines efforts to end global hunger and poverty.”
The U.N. aims to end all forms of child labor by 2025.
Here are some more facts about child labor:
- Almost half of all child labor happens in Africa, where about 72 million children work.
- The prevalence of child labor is 77 percent higher in countries where there is conflict.
- Almost half of all working labourers work in dangerous industries such as construction, agriculture, mining and brick and stone manufacturing.
- The number of children working in agriculture increased from 98 million in 2012 to 108 million in 2017.
- Children working in farms, fields, mines, homes and factories can be exposed to toxic pesticides, forced to carry heavy loads, and made to work long hours.
Source: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, International Labour Organization
Reporting by Lin Taylor @linnytayls, Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters that covers humanitarian issues, conflicts, land and property rights, modern slavery and human trafficking, gender equality, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories