The Terrible Toll of Child Labor

WILLS POINT, TX – According to a recent special report, “Child Labor: Not Gone, But Forgotten,” 2.8 million children in forced child labor die annually from work-related injuries.

According to a special report, “Child Labor: Not Gone, But Forgotten,” 2.8 million children in forced child labor die annually from work-related injuries.

That is the equivalent to the entire population of Chicago and more than twice as many children as the total population of Dallas.

The in-depth report, published by Gospel for Asia (GFA) on July 9, pulls back the curtain of ignorance that keeps the Western world at large blissfully unaware of one of the worst tragedies of our time.

“It is beyond despicable that an estimated 218 million children as young as 5 years old are employed and that at least 152 million are in forced child labor, according to basic facts about child labor published by the Child Labor Coalition.”

The report expands on the total number of child laborers, informing us that 218 million children, all living in one place, would constitute the fifth-largest country in the world!

As the facts unfold, the plight of these young children becomes nearly incomprehensible.

  • Children under the age of 12 perform up to a fourth of all hazardous child labor.
  • Almost half of all forced child laborers are between the ages of 5 and 11.
  • More than 134 million children in forced labor are in Africa and the region of Asia and the Pacific.

According to the Maplecroft Child Labor Index, the top ten worst countries for child labor are all located in Africa (Chad, the DRC, Ethiopia, Liberia, Nigeria, and Somalia) and South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, and Pakistan).

While child labor may take many forms, about 73 million children are victims of forced labor. The International Labor Organization Convention 182 defines the worst types of child labor as:

  • All forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale or trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom, or forced or compulsory labor, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict
  • The use, procuring, or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances
  • The use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular, for the production and trafficking of drugs.
  • Work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.

The problem of child labor is inexorably linked to the poverty that enslaves nearly half the world’s entire population. Three billion people in the world live on less than the equivalent of USD 2.50 per day.

Jesus looked upon people with such compassion that He didn’t just tell them that He loved them. He demonstrated His love in ways that changed their lives. Representing Christ on earth requires that we show the same love and compassion that He did while He was here.

That is why so much of Gospel for Asia’s work is related to rescuing families from the clutches of poverty.

To learn more about how you can support Gospel for Asia’s ministries to the millions of poor families in South Asia and help reduce child labor, follow this link.


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


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