Child Labor in AsiaThe Asia-Pacificregion has thelargest number ofchild workers inthe 5-14 agegroup in the world– some 127million, about 60%of working childrenworldwide.~ ILO Report on Labour and SocialTrends in Asia and the Pacific, 2005
What is "CHILD LABOR"?There is no universallyaccepted definition of“child labor.”"Child labor" is, generallyspeaking, work forchildren that harms themor exploits them in someway (physically, mentally,morally, or by blockingaccess to education). Garbage Picker, India 1993
Is all work is bad for children?Some child workersthemselves think that illegalwork should not be consideredin the definition of "child labor."The reason: These childworkers would like to berespected for their legal work,because they feel they haveno other choice but to work. On the outskirts of Dhaka, children heat and mix rubber in a barrel at a balloon factory.
A boy works in a tea stall in a small village in Nepal. Nepal is one of the worlds poorest countries, forcing huge numbers of children to do hard labor. For a majority of children in Nepal, education is a luxury.A young Pakistani girl carries a load of wooldown a street in a poor section of Peshawar.Pakistan has laws that limit child labor, butthe laws are often ignored. An estimated 11million children work in Pakistans factories.
A young Burmese boy climbs on top of piles of teak wood in a government-run lumberyard in Pyin Ma Bin. The boys job is to label the teak wood. The wood is common in Myanmar and is in high demand in Japan and most of Asia.Sakina, 9, and Javed, 6, workon a carpet loom at a smallworkshop in Kabul.Afghanistans deep povertyforces many children to work inadult jobs.
This 9-year-old girl used to worklong hours weaving rugs in acarpet factory. Today, she isenrolled in a Rugmark school inIndia. Rugmark is an organizationworking to end child labor andprovide educational opportunitiesfor children. For child laborers allover the world, education is theticket to a better future.
Circus performers, India 1995Children work long hours, practicedangerous acts, and only the bestand those who manage to survivecontinue their lives as performers.A circus may have dozens of smallchildren; there are few teenagersand fewer adult performers.
Electroplate worker, India 1993: Theeducated use of protective equipmentby electroplaters is extremelyimportant in preventing contact withvarious metals and acids. Theminimum protective equipment shouldinclude gloves, aprons, boots, andchemical handlers goggles. Apronsshould come below the top of theboots.
Metal workers, India 1995: Children in factories such as this make polished metaltableware. They use high speed polishing machines and the noise in these factoriesis overwhelming. No doubt most of the workers suffer hearing loss from the loudnoise.
Carpet Weaver, Nepal1993: There are between60 and 115 million childlaborers in India; of these,at least 15 million work asbonded laborers. Bondedlabor refers to working in acondition of servitude inorder to pay a debt. Mostoften the debt is incurredby a childs parents orrelatives. The debt is paid-off by labor. Children soldinto debt bondage worklong hours for many yearsin order to pay the debt. In India and Nepal there are an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 children who work as bonded laborers making carpets. Shop owners say that they need the good eyesight and fine fingers of children to make carpets. However, adults, not children, produce the h ighest quality, more finely-knotted carpets.
Brick worker, India 1993Throughout much of the world, bricks are made by hand. Even a small brickfactory may produce as many as 500,000 bricks per year. Each brick weighsbetween one and two kilograms (2.2-4.4 pounds). A small child may haul over1,000 bricks on his/her head or back each day.
Stone quarry workers, India 1993In many quarries the stones are broken by hand.Because of the large amounts of dust, the work isquite dangerous. Workers are at extreme risk ofdeveloping silicosis (scarring of the lungs) and arelated disease, silico-tuberculosis.