No excuse for child labour

No child should be working. Every child has the right to a good education, the right to play, and the right to really be a child. Many people think that children have to work because otherwise their families would not survive. The opposite is true: child labour means that poverty continues to exist.

Vicious circle of poverty

Because children are easy to exploit and are low-cost workers they are more likely to be hired than adults. This means that child labour results in lower wages and higher rates of unemployment for adults. Child labour has a negative impact on the physical and mental development of children. Children who are working and are not going to school are most likely to end up in badly paid jobs in the future and so will their children. This means that the vicious circle of poverty continues to exist.

Causes of child labour

Experience teaches us that ingrained opinions, social injustice and lack of political will are the most important reasons why children are working and not going to school. Child labour exists because people accept it and think of excuses for it. Because childrens’ rights are not being respected. Because governments are not providing compulsory, free and accessible education. Because there are no decent jobs for adults. Because employers can benefit from it. And because consumers all over the world want cheap products.

A child-labour-free world

No child should be working – every child has the right to a good education, the right to play and the right to really be a child. Child labour means that poverty continues to exist. Eradicating child labour means development and better opportunities for everyone. This is the conviction of Stop Child Labour and all around the world we advocate a good education for children and a reliable income for adults. In Asia, Africa and Latin-America we are working together with national and international organisations, governments, local authorities, trade unions, teachers, employers, parents and children themselves to get all children out of work and into school. But making changes there, requires taking action here. That’s why we are asking citizens, companies and governments in Europe and around the globe to become part of the solution.

We will be able to stop child labour together, if we no longer accept it. Not in mines, not in agriculture, not in factories, not in the household and not in the products we buy.