About 170 million are engaged in child labor, with many to satisfy the demand of consumers in Europe, the US, and beyond.
Around 260 million children are in employment around the world, according to the International Labour Organisation (pdf). Of them, the ILO estimates that 170 million are engaged in child labour, defined by the UN as “work for which the child is either too young – work done below the required minimum age – or work which, because of its detrimental nature or conditions, is altogether considered unacceptable for children and is prohibited”.
Child labour is forbidden by law in most countries but continues to be rife in some of the poorest parts of the world.
The situation is improving. ILO estimates suggest child labour declined by 30% between 2000 and 2012, but still 11% of the world’s children are in situations that deprive them of their right to go to school without interference from work.
Many of these child labourers work within the fashion supply chain, making the textiles and garments to satisfy the demand of consumers in Europe, the US, and beyond.