Learn about the worst forms of child labor | News


The director general of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, recalled last May that child labor is an inevitable consequence of poverty.


ILO points out social protection to confront child labor

With this statement, Guy Ryder began an international conclave to discuss how to end this universal ballast in Durban, South Africa.

Ryder indicated that according to the most recent data from the ILO, there are some 160 million children who work in the world, that is, one in ten of the total global child population.

The alarming number is increasing, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, which exacerbated inequality and shortages, especially in the poorest families.

According to the director general of the ILO, the figure could increase particularly in the age range of five to eleven years, threatening to reverse years of progress.

The ILO reported that in the last four years, 8.4 million children have joined the working minors and warned that millions more are at risk of following them as a result of the pandemic.

The World Day Against Child Labor has been celebrated every June 12 since 2002. The date was instituted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) to focus attention on the magnitude of child labor worldwide, and on the measures to eradicate it.

Convention on the worst forms of child labor

In the month of June, but in the year 1999, the ILO adopted the document known as Convention 182, officially called “Convention on the Prohibition of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and Immediate Action for its Elimination” and, more abbreviated, “Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention”.

This document, signed by 186 of the 187 countries that make up the ILO (except Tonga), collects the most negative forms in which child exploitation of children is manifested throughout the world, according to the consensus of the parties.

According to Convention 182, the five worst forms of child labor are the following:


Slaves are held against their will from the moment of capture, purchase, or birth, and are not allowed to leave or refuse work. Children are particularly sensitive to this form of child labour, due to their lower capacity for response and defense.

child trafficking

Purchase, sale and transfer of children for labor exploitation. Children are trafficked for many reasons, including forced labor and the recruitment of child soldiers and beggars.


It is equivalent to forced labour, when labor is offered as payment for a loan that cannot be repaid in cash or in kind. For example, a poor family may give one of its children in payment of a debt, and the child will have to work for years to pay it off.

The condition of servant

It occurs when the child is forced to live and work on land belonging to someone else, for little or no pay.

forced labor

He forces himself to perform someone against his will, in this case the child. For example, children in armed conflicts are forced to fight and serve as cooks, porters and messengers. They are abused and exploited, and are required to kill or maim other human beings.

This scourge coexists with others that affect children, such as trafficking destined for carnal trade, whether as wives for hire, prostitution or pornography. The interest of international organizations is to motivate the adoption of urgent measures to avoid such suffering to minors.

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