Child Labor in South Asia: Heartbreaking Insights

WILLS POINT, TX – Did you know that India is home to the largest population of children in the world? That’s right. With 448 million children under the age of 18, India alone has 103 million more children more than China. Nearly 25% more.The 2011 government census also reported 10.2 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are involved in the practice of child labor.

According to UNICEF, 152 million children worldwide are enslaved by child labor. The International Labor Organization put the number at 168 million.

According to UNICEF, a total of 152 million children worldwide are enslaved by child labor. The International Labor Organization put the number at 168 million.

Over 41 million of those live in seven South Asian countries. More than 25% of child laborers in the world live in these seven countries. (No information was available from Afghanistan.) The Children’s Rights Atlas recognizes that India alone “has the highest number of child laborers in the world.

Yet, this pock on the human condition is relatively unknown. Mainstream media doesn’t report it regularly. Most people checking news online are not going to find news about it unless they are looking for it.

Why Missions Box Cares

UNICEF explains that:

“Children are used in some severe forms of child labor such as bonded labor, child soldiers, and trafficking. South Asian child laborers can be found in a variety of industries: the brick kilns, carpet weaving, garment making, domestic service, agriculture, fisheries, and mining.

In South Asia, child labor and exploitation are the combined product of many factors, such as poverty, social norms condoning them.”

The International Labor Organization adds some fascinating insight into the situation in South Asia.

  • A substantial share of employment of 15-17 years old is hazardous in nature – 75 percent in Bangladesh, 72 percent in Sri Lanka, 41 percent in Pakistan, 30 percent in Nepal, 20 percent in India.
  • On a global basis, there are 19 million children under the age of 12 involved in child labor.
  • The majority of child laborers (71%) work in agriculture, although the number of children working in urban areas is increasing due to migration patterns.
  • A total of over 24 million in the 7-14 years age group in three countries are out of school: India (12.3 million), in Pakistan (7.3 million) and in Bangladesh (4.5 million).
  • About 85 million child laborers are in hazardous work, which jeopardizes the physical, mental or moral well-being of a child, either because of its nature or because of the conditions in which it is carried out.

We published a special report on July 31, entitled “Child Labor Today: Not Gone, But Forgotten.” The problem of child labor today is so pervasive that we plan to keep readers regularly informed of progress, or lack thereof, in dealing with the issue around the globe.

Our goal is to raise awareness of the issue so that the rest of the world recognizes the gravity of the situation and has the will to act. Only when that happens will the world be able to see a remedy at work.


To read more news on Child Labor on Missions Box, go here.


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