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.

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

Call on the Indian Parliament to immediately pass the Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill and end child slavery in India. Millions of children, some as young a 5-years-old, are kept from school in order to toil long[...]

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To launch a fund at the World Humanitarian Summit, in partnership with  A World at School, that would provide education for children living in conflict and disaster zones in order to reduce their risk to child slavery. Children living in[...]

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To provide a van to Agape International Missions (AIM) that will help students avoid traffickers by getting them to and from school safely in the risky  Svay Pak area of Cambodia.  In this notorious area, an estimated 70% of[...]

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Related efforts

Engage with this issue by taking action on current advocacy campaigns, or reading through past ones.

Forced child marriage in Niger

Three-quarters of girls in Niger are married before they are adults. Child marriage often amounts to slavery, for example, when girls have not given their free and full consent, are subjected to control, exploited and unable to leave,[...]

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Help end sexual exploitation of children

The last place you should expect to find a child is in a brothel; yet for 17-year-old Phoebe from Kenya, this is her life. Phoebe comes from a poor family. When she dropped out of school, she went in search of a better life – instead she[...]

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