From Coal Mines to Diamond Factories; 150 Million Children Worldwide Are Subjected to Hard Labors

Sovit Karki

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An estimated 150 million children are subjected to child labor paid or unpaid world wide; according to the new report by UNICEF. The numbers of children engaged in hazardous activities that may compromise their physical, mental, social or educational development is highest in Sub-Saharan Africa, poor, and developing nations.

Under international standards, all work performed by a person below the age of 15 means child labor.

Child Labors in Bangladesh.
Child Labors in Bangladesh. Image Credit: GiveAwaySmiles (Flickr)

According to the report Sub-Sharian Africa has the largest number of child laborers (28 percent of children aged 5 to 14 years). In Middle East, North Africa and East Asia, 10 percent of the children below the age of 15 are performing potentially harmful work while, 9 percent of children in Latin America and the Caribbean are also engaged in child labor.

The goods produced by these children range from bricks and garments, to gold and diamond depending upon the region and the country they are from according to another report by Bureau of International Labor Affiars (ILAB); United States Department of Labor.

On September 30, 2016 ILAB published a stunning report that compromises of list of 139 goods from 75 various countries.

Child workers carrying wood in Nepal
Child workers carrying wood in Nepal. Image Credit: Artis Rams (Flickr)

Children are used for the production of bricks, carpets, coal, and Flowers (Poppies) in Afghanistan and Corn, Gold, Silver, Tin and Zinc in Bolivia.

In Democratic Republic of the Congo Child labors produce copper, diamonds, gold, heteregonite (cobalt ore) and wolframite (tungsten ore). While many of these children are used to produce pornography in Thailand, Philippines, and Russia.

According to UNICEF expect Latin America and Caribbean, boys and girls are equally likely to be involved in child labor in almost all regions.  In Latin America and Caribbean boys are slightly more likely than girls to be engaged in child labor.

However, gender disparities are observes, in the types of activities carried out, with girls more likely to be involved in domestic work.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sovit Karki