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Around the world, 126 million children labour in brutal conditions, and as many as 1.2 million children are trafficked into exploitative work each year.
In the world's least developed countries, 30 percent of all children spend their days hard at work rather than in school or playing. In developing countries, as many as 16 percent of all children aged 5 to 14 are involved in child labour. About 90 percent of child labour takes place in Africa and Asia.
Effects of Child Labour
Victims of child labour work long hours under harsh conditions and are often deprived of proper food and sleep. Physical punishment and sexual and emotional abuse are rampant among employers and traffickers. Working children have little or no time to learn, play, or explore other interests.
These poor living and working conditions have a negative long-term effect on a child's health and development. Lack of access to medical care puts them at great risk.
Causes of Child Labour
Child labour is generally a product of abject poverty, where even the meager salary of a child can make the difference in a family's ability to survive.
Even in countries with laws prohibiting child labour, it is difficult to police and enforce the law in remote villages that have little contact with the outside world. Beyond that, the issues behind child labour are complex and not easily rectified. In some countries, child labour is the only thing that affords a child to attend school. In places where children are legally allowed to work, they will often leave school out of necessity to help provide support for their struggling families.
How Sponsoring a Child Can Help End Child Labour Practices
When you sponsor a child, you're doing your part to help put a stop to this abusive practice. In countries around the world, children's charity Plan UK is working to find meaningful solutions to the problem of child labour.
Through child care centres, community committees, and counseling services, Plan UK is helping to improve access to education and quality of life for children, while providing vocational training to their parents.
Through awareness campaigns and legislation aimed at preventing child labour practices, Plan UK is actively promoting children's rights around the world.
When you sponsor a child, you're helping to give children the childhood they deserve – one child at a time, one community at a time, one country at a time.