Child labour harms children.
About Child Labour
Child labour goes on every day throughout the world, especially in agricultural communities.
In many countries, children are doing work that goes well beyond everyday chores that are light and safe. They are doing work that is recognized internationally as child labour. Children as young as five years old are employed and working long hours, and many children are involved in hazardous work.
These children should be going to school, studying, helping only with light work, developing, and playing.
The ECLT Foundation aligns with and upholds the official definitions of child labour, which are set forth by the:
- Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO)
- ILO Convention no. 138
- ILO Convention no. 169
- ILO Convention no. 182
- The United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
These conventions define child labour as child work that:
- is mentally, physically, socially, or morally dangerous and harmful, or that
- interferes with children’s schooling by depriving them of the opportunity to attend school; making them leave school prematurely; or requiring them to attempt to combine school with excessively long and heavy work
Further, hazardous child labour is work that is dangerous or unhealthy by nature or because of its conditions, and that could result in a child being exploited, killed, injured, or made ill.
Child labour is a breach of children’s fundamental rights. It robs them of their childhoods, perpetuates the cycle of poverty, and hampers the socio-economic development of communities.
Child labour is a global problem:
- 168 million children are involved in child labour worldwide—that’s 11% of the child population
- Of these children, 59% work in agriculture
- 68% are unpaid family workers
- 5.5 million children are involved in forced labour
Pledge in Action
In a historic movement to eradicate child labour, the ECLT Foundation released the Pledge of Commitment by ECLT Foundation Board Members. This pledge joins all ECLT Board Members in commitment and action for the progressive elimination of child labour throughout the tobacco supply chain. This Pledge acknowledges the Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO); ILO Conventions 138, 182, and 184; and the UN’s Convention of the Right of the Child (listed on the left). The Pledge also acknowledges:
- ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
- The Children’s Rights & Business Principles
The Pledge affirms that even states that have not ratified these Conventions have an obligation to respect, promote, and realize the principles they enshrine. ECLT Foundation Members Pledge