UN: More than 150 million children in the world are in labor slavery

UN: More than 150 million children in the world are in labor slavery


Almost one in ten children in the world is in labor slavery. This is stated in a study by the UN special rapporteur on modern forms of slavery, Urmila Bhola, on Wednesday.

"It is estimated that 152 million children (64 million girls and 88 million boys) – that is, almost every tenth child – are being forced to work around the world,” the report says, referenced by TASS. Moreover, in the least developed countries, "approximately one in four children (aged 5 to 17 years) is engaged in work that is considered harmful to health and development."

“Throughout the world, children aged 5 to 11 are predominantly engaged in child labor: it is estimated that almost half or 48% of all children involved in child labor are in this age group,” the special rapporteur said.

The study notes that the problem of child labor is most common in low-income countries, but it also affects other countries. "According to estimates for 2016, Africa has surpassed the Asia-Pacific region and has become the region with the highest rates of child labor," the UN reports.

Researchers include forms of exploitation, including the use of children for drug trafficking, as well as forced early marriage. “Operators who use children for drug trafficking use methods such as psychological pressure, violence and threats of violence against victims and their families to force children to engage in drug trafficking,” the report said. “In addition, children become addicted to exploiters due to drug addiction: to create this addiction, drug dealers pump drugs to children they recruit or want to recruit without their consent. "

The Special Rapporteur draws attention to the close relationship between the concepts of child marriage, exploitation and slavery, and notes that “child marriage is characterized by bonded labor in the household, while bonded marriage often leads to sexual slavery”.

“It is estimated that 5,679,000 children are forced into marriage,” Bhola informs. “The Asia-Pacific region, followed by Africa, has the highest rate."

Child slavery "exacerbates and perpetuates the vicious cycle of poverty, poor health, illiteracy and helplessness, negatively affects the rights of the child and impedes the achievement of the sustainable development goals as a whole," the UN says. They believe that to solve this problem "it is necessary to apply holistic approaches that take into account a wide range of factors and aimed both at children and at families and communities."