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Child Labor

Mark Global Day Against Child Labor with the National Education Association. Take time to learn about child labor your community, in the United States, and in the world.

Education International has created activities and a poster to build awareness of child labor.

  • Activity, English (PDF icon PDF, 826 KB, 10 pgs.)
  • Activity, Spanish (PDF icon PDF, 803 KB, 11 pgs.)
  • Poster, English (PDF icon PDF, 3.5 MB, 1 pg.)
  • Poster, Spanish  (PDF icon PDF, 3.5 KB, 1 pg.)

215 million children are involved with child labor world wide. Of these, 6 of every 10 children work in agriculture, in agribusiness and family farms. Very often, child labor fuels the cycle of poverty by keeping children from accessing education and other basic human rights.

In Cote d’Ivoire, for example of the 820,000 children that work in the cocoa industry, just 60% attend school and only 5% are paid for their work.

In the United States, it is estimated that 300,000 to 400,000 children under the age of 16 help harvest crops, with legal exemptions that allow younger children to work in fields.

In the words of 10 year old Erika Justo, Georgia, in an interviewed with the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs:

The most difficult work in the fields is to bend over all day and pick squash from the vines and throw them in a tub. Then women wash and box them. They send them to the stores. From washing the squash, you get a rash on your arms.

More resources are available from the national Child Labor Coalition, that promotes the safety, health and well-being of working minors, by pursuing an end to child labor exploitation.

Related Resources

  • Education International Child Labour Introduction
  • Give girls a chance: End child labour
    To mark World Day Against Child Labour, 12 June 2009, EI and the and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) collaborated on this new publication on the multiple disadvantages faced by more than 100 million girls in child labour. It also contains two lesson aids for classroom use and links to international law and conventions on child labour. EI-ILO Brochure on World Day Against Child Labour 2009, "Give girls a chance: End child labour"
  • No to Child Labour! Yes to Education!
    Teachers around the world are determined to help tackle the problem of child labour. This short documentary shines the spotlight on successful strategies by the Moroccan National Teachers' Union (SNE) to prevent child labour by reducing school drop-out rates.
  • Attacking Child Labor and Poverty through Education: In this June 2013 NEA Health Information Network blog post, NEA International Relations senior professional Jill Christianson discusses how child labor is a barrier to education and economic growth — both in the United States and internationally.
  • Why I Teach Child Labor: In this article from NEA Today Magazine (October/November 2008), language arts teacher Ron Adams describes his search in the existing curriculum where state standards intersect with the teaching of child labor issues and efforts to address these hard issues with his 7th grade students. The
  • International Center on Child Labor and Education (ICCLE) Resources and avenues for student learning about global child labor issues across the country and the world. Explore the link between poverty, child labor, and education through a spectrum of student materials.

Education International