The ILO and Walk Free Foundation, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), released highly anticipated research results on the current scale of child labour and modern slavery. While the ILO has been measuring child labour since 2004, this is the first global estimate of modern slavery. The results show that 40 million people are victims of modern slavery and that 152 million (down from 168) children are subject to child labor.

The 2016 estimates use data from a total of 105 national household surveys covering more than 70 per cent of the world population of children aged 5 to 17 years. All world regions are covered, and data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and China are included for the first time.

Key Findings Related to Child Labour:

  • A total of 152 million children – 64 million girls and 88 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 – 73 million children in absolute terms – are in hazardous work that directly endangers their health, safety, and moral development.
  • There were almost 134 million fewer children in employment in 2016 than in 2000.
  • The Africa region and the Asia and the Pacific region together host nine out of every ten children in child labour.
  • 7 per cent of all children, 62 million in absolute terms, are in child labour in Asia and the Pacific.
  • More than two-thirds of all children in child labour work as contributing family labourers, while paid employment and own-account workers make up 27 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively, of those in child labour.
  • According to the 2016 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery,1 there were about 4.3 million children aged below 18 years in forced labour, representing 18 per cent of the 24.8 mil- lion total forced labour victims worldwide.
  • The agricultural sector accounts for by far the largest share of child labour. The sector accounts for 71 per cent of all those in child labour and for 108 million children in absolute terms.
  • 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.
  • The estimates indicate that a very large number of children in child labour are completely deprived of education – for the 5-14 years age group, there are 36 million children in child labour who are out of school, 32 per cent of all those in child labour in this age range.