Child labour is work undertaken by a child that is harmful to them in some way. The labour could be harmful to their health, safety, or ability to have a childhood. Child labour deprives children the right to normal physical and mental development, and often interferes with children’s education.
An estimated 246 million children are engaged in child labour. Nearly 70 per cent (171 million) of these children work in hazardous conditions – including working in mines, working with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture or with dangerous machinery. They are everywhere, but invisible, toiling as domestic servants in homes, labouring behind the walls of workshops, hidden from view in plantations. The vast majority of working children – about 70 per cent – work in the agriculture sector. Millions of girls work as domestic servants and unpaid household help and are especially vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.