Child Slavery

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  • According the ILO, of the 168 million children in labour, it is believed around 5.5 million are in the worst forms of child labour, or child slavery.
  • Children in slavery are often surrounded by violence, abuse and threats. They work long hours doing hazardous, tiring work, usually far from their homes and family.
  • Child slavery can take many forms, although it is usually forced labour. This includes domestic servitude or debt bondage.
  • Children are also trafficked, forced into marriage and armed conflict, or exploited for the profit of others. This exploitation includes illicit activities including commercial sexual exploitation, pornography, forced begging, petty theft, and the drugs trade.
  • Child trafficking is one form of child slavery. Human trafficking usually involves threats of violence, deception, or coercion, but no such force is needed when trafficking children.
  • According to UNICEF, there about around 300,000 child soldiers involved in over 30 conflicts worldwide, including some younger than 10 years old.
  • The latest ILO statistics report child labour has declined by a third since 2000.
  • Recent laws, like the UK’s Modern Slavery Act and the US Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, have placed bans on imports made by child labour.
  • Some industries, like woven rugs, have begun taking steps to eliminate child slavery, thanks to increased public awareness and pressure.

Dive Deeper

Explore further

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and articles on the subject.

Child Labor Amendment Bill (India)

27 Jan 2017

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Keeping Children in School in Crisis  Zones

27 Jan 2017

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Transportation to Prevent Child Exploitation (Cambodia)

27 Jan 2017

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