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Child Labour Statistics

In terms of the above conditions, millions of children in this world, both in developing and industrialised countries, are found working in numerous workplaces. The nature, extent and severity of the problem, however, is more serious in the developing world and highest concentration of child labour is found in the Asian continent, South Asia taking the lead. More than one-tenth of the labour force in some of the Asian countries is comprised of children. Some estimates of child labour put a figure of 44 million for India, 8 million for Pakistan, 8-12 million for Bangladesh, 2.7 million for Indonesia (10-14), etc. In Latin America, some estimates indicate that about one-quarter of the children may be working. In Brazil, for instance, 7 million or 18 percent of children of 10-14 years are active in the labour market. A similar proportion would apply to the Mexican children. The situation in Africa is not dissimilar either. In this continent, child labour accounts for 17 percent of the labour force or alternately one-fifth of the children are active in the labour market. In Nigeria alone, child labour are estimated to be 12 million.

The child labour also exists in some industrialised countries. Tens of thousands of children are found working alone in the Naples region, even are found in the leather industry which carry considerable health hazards. Italy also happens to have the highest number of child workers in Western Europe. Spain too has, according to some estimates, over 100,000 child workers engaged mostly in agriculture. Similarly, illegal child work is reported in the United Kingdom and in United States of America.

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Source: Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan: Present Scenario and Future Strategy, Mohibul Haq Sahibzada. Republished with permission.