What is Facts for Life?
Using Facts for Life
Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health
Child Development and Early Learning
Nutrition and Growth
Coughs, Colds and More Serious Illnesses
Emergencies: Preparedness and Response
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Children must be protected from all work that is hazardous. Work should not prevent them from attending school. Children should never be involved in the worst forms of child labour, such as slavery, forced labour, drug production or trafficking.
Children who work often do so to support their families' livelihood so they can eat and have basic necessities. Many children begin working at an early age, as young as 4 years old. In many cases, it is considered normal for children to work long hours before or after school, or to work all day and evening and not attend school at all.
Children can be found working in agriculture, commerce, factories, fishing, markets, housekeeping, childcare, handicrafts, restaurants, garbage dumps and in the streets.
Close to 70 per cent of working children work in agriculture, which can be extremely hazardous. It can involve heavy manual labour, long hours, and the use of pesticides and dangerous tools. Children can be at risk of sexual abuse and exploitation, especially during harvesting season (when they often work extra-long hours) and while working on plantations.
Some children are engaged in the worst forms of child labour, such as child slavery, debt bondage, forced labour, drug production and trafficking. These are illegal. Children must be removed immediately from such situations and, if it is in their best interest, reintegrated into their families and communities.
The work children do should not be hazardous to their health or well-being. It should not prevent children from going to school.
The government and local authorities, with support from families and civil society, should develop measures to address harmful child labour situations, such as:
Families need to know the risks involved in sending their children away for work, such as domestic and agricultural work.
Children and adolescents should be well informed about the dangers of leaving home and taking work that might land them in high-risk situations such as prostitution and drug trafficking.