< Child rights


Article 32

Freedom from child labour

"The child has the right to be protected from work that threatens his or her health, education or development. The State shall set minimum ages for employment and shall regulate working conditions. You have the right to safe working conditions and to be paid for your work. "


Child labour is work undertaken by a child that is harmful to them in some way. The labour could be harmful to their health, safety, or ability to have a childhood. Child labour deprives children the right to normal physical and mental development, and often interferes with children's education. An estimated 246 million children are engaged in child labour. Nearly 70 per cent (171 million) of these children work in hazardous conditions, including working in mines, working with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture or with dangerous machinery. They are everywhere, but invisible, toiling as domestic servants in homes, labouring behind the walls of workshops, hidden from view in plantations. The vast majority of working children, about 70 per cent, work in the agriculture sector. Millions of girls work as domestic servants and unpaid household help and are especially vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.


Yasmeen's story

"I dream about going back to school and not working anymore." Like thousands of unaccompanied Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, 14-year-old Yasmeen and her younger brother must work to pay for rent and food, while living in appalling conditions at a shelter for refugees. Yasmeen says "I wake up at 4 a.m. and work for 10 hours for US$6.60. I come back and do domestic work, cook until sunset and then I go to sleep. Look at my hands from all the work, they are as rough as rocks, my back aches. I have been here for three years, but it feels like one long day. You have to work, you have to survive and you have to pay rent. Is this a life worth living?"