While the statistic that one in ten kids are child laborers may sound shocking, it’s actually good news to those who have been following the trend since 2000.
With economic woes in the U.S. and Europe, a global recession chipping away at the economy, many feared that child labor could increase.
Not the case.
In fact, the last four years has seen the fastest decrease in child laborers.
Child laborers consist of 168 million child worldwide, ages 5 to 17. As show in the graph above, there has been improvement, but the fight is far from over:
“The International Labor Organization, which published these statistics today, reports that there is little chance that the worst forms of child labor will be eliminated by 2016, the goal set by some 80 countries at the Hague in 2010. At the current pace of progress, some 65 million children will be performing hazardous labor in 2016.”
There has been great improvement in the Asia and Pacific, but it’s the Sub-Saharan Africa that now shows the greatest number of child laborers with over 20% of children working.
You can read more about this here, but here’s what I think the take away is for those of us living in the Western world—the United States and Europe. One of the most profound and simple things that can be done is the purchasing of free trade products. You can start simple—coffee and chocolate—and then work towards purchasing free trade smartphones and shoes.
Why not start now?
Every bit helps!