Child Labour

Child Labour- Facts and Figures in the world

A total of 160 million children – 63 million girls and 97 million boys – are in child labour globally, accounting for almost one in ten of all children worldwide. Nearly half of all those in child labour – 79 million children in absolute terms – are in hazardous work that directly endangers their health, safety, and moral development.

According to the report published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF on 10 June 2021, the number of children working in child labour has increased by 8.4 million in the last four years to 160 million worldwide. Another 9 million children are at risk due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report points out that there has been a significant increase in the number of child workers aged 5 to 11, who currently account for more than half of the number of child workers in the world. The number of children aged 5 to 17 working in hazardous jobs, defined as work that may harm the health, safety or morals of children, has increased by 6.5 million to 79 million since 2016.

The 16-year period starting in 2000 saw a net reduction of 94 million in children in child labour. The number of children in hazardous work fell by more than half over the same period. But progress slowed during 2012 to 2016. The reduction in the number of children in child labour amounted to 16 million for the 2012 to 2016 period, just one third of the 47 million reductions recorded during 2008 to 2012. The decline in hazardous work slowed in a similar fashion.

Africa ranks highest both in the percentage of children in child labour – one-fifth – and the absolute number of children in child labour 92 million. Asia and the Pacific ranks second highest in both these measures 5.6 per cent of all children, 49 million in absolute terms, are in child labour in this region. The remaining child labour population is divided among the Americas (8.3 million), Europe and Central Asia (8.3 million), and the Arab States (2.4 million).

The agricultural sector accounts for by far the largest share of child labour. The sector accounts for 70 per cent of all those in child labour and for 112 million children in absolute terms. Children in child labour in the services and industry sectors number 31.4 million and 16.5 million, respectively.

Children aged 5 to 11 years form the largest share of those in child labour and also form a substantial share of those in hazardous work. Forty-eight per cent of all those in child labour are in the 5–11 years age bracket, 28 per cent are aged 12–14 years, and 25 per cent fall into the 15–17 years age range.

SourceGlobal Estimates 2020, Trends and the Road Forward, International Labour Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund (2021)

Child Labour in Türkiye

The research called "Working Child Statistics" was conducted by Turkish Statistical Institute in the IV. Quarter of 2019 (October-November-December) with the Household Labour Force Survey for 5-17 age group children. According to this research, the number of children engaged in economic activities is 720 thousand persons and no 5-year-old child is observed among them. Employment rate which shows the proportion of working children in the 5-17 age group among children in the same age group is estimated 4.4%.

While 79.7% of working children are in the 15-17 age group, 15.9% are in the 12-14 age group and 4.4% are in the 5-11 age group. When examined by gender, it is seen that 70.6% of working children are male and 29.4% are female. While 65.7% of working children are attended an education, this rate is 65.6% for male and 66.1% for female.

When the reason of working for children engaged in economic activities are listed; "to help in household's economic activity" is the first place with 35.9%, and others are "to learn a profession and skills for a job" with 34.4%, "to contribute household income" with 23.2% and "to support him/herself needs" with 6.4%".

30.8% of working children take part in agriculture, 23.7% is in industry and 45.5% is in service sector. According to age groups; children working in the 5-14 age group gain weight in the agricultural sector with 64.1%, while children working in the 15-17 age group gain weight in the service sector with 51%.

63.3% of working children work as regular or casual employees, 36.2% of them work as unpaid family workers and 0.5% of them work as self-employed. According to the type of workplace, 66.0% of the working children is at regular/fixed workplaces, 30.4% of them work in the field/garden, 3.0% of them work in the mobile, irregular or marketplace, 0.5% of them work at home.


Current state of apprenticeships in Turkey: Overview of relevant ILO instruments


ILO’s Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour in Turkey (2021-2025)


Ongoing Projects

Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Seasonal Agriculture in Hazelnut Harvesting in Turkey

Elimination of the Child Labour in Seasonal Agriculture

An Integrated Model for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Seasonal Agriculture in Hazelnut Harvesting in Turkey