No to child labor, yes to quality education

Graph of the week

Percentage of children who are out of school, 7-14 years, by child labor status and country (c) Global Initiative on Out of School Children

This year on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labor the International Labour Organization (ILO) is calling attention to education as key tool to end child labor.

According to the ILO, 10% of all children between 5 and 14 are engaged in some form of labor. There are still 120 million school-aged children working worldwide, down from 186 million in 2000. Furthermore, almost one third of child laborers are involved in hazardous forms of work that threatens their health, safety or morals.

Out-of-school children are more likely to be working than children who go to school. And as the graph above shows (from the 2015 Global Initiative on Out of School Children report), children who work are also more likely to be out of school than other children.  Most children who work also attend school, yet working affects their ability to learn and succeed and it is also considered a factor in decisions to drop out of school. Children who drop out of school and join the labor force early are more disadvantaged later in life because of a lack of basic skills and education.

The international community will commit to an ambitious new development agenda later this year. Looking at the links between child labor and education is therefore particularly timely since child labor is an obstacle to achieving education for all and to the successful development of countries.


Additional resources:

ILO - World Report on Child Labour 2015: Paving the way to decent work for young people

ILO - Child labour and education: progress, challenges and future directions


The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat is headquartered in Washington DC and has approximately 100 staff. The Secretariat provides administrative and operational support to all its partners including...

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