Child labor hinders children’s education
We know that poverty often pushes children to work, yet when children leave school early to enter the labor force they are more likely to end up in occupations that limit their chances of breaking out of poverty.
June 12, 2016 by GPE Secretariat
3 minutes read
© Save the Children

June 12 is the World Day Against Child Labor and while the number of children 5-17 who work has declined by 30% since 2000, there are still 168 million child laborers worldwide according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). More than half, 85 million, are in hazardous work.

In the 2015 report Child Labour and Education – Progress, challenges, and future directions the ILO analyzes the role of child labor in keeping children away from school, as well as the lack of accessible, affordable and good quality schooling as a factor for children to enter the workforce. 

The findings outlined in the report include:

  • Child labor lowers net primary enrollment ratios.
  • There is a strong negative effect of child labor on school attendance. In some countries, school attendance rates of working children are only about half of those of non-working children.
  • There is a significant negative correlation between levels of economic activity of children aged 7-14 years and youth literacy rates in the 15-24 age bracket.
  • Rural working children tend to be among the most disadvantaged.
  • Boys and girls often do different jobs. Girls are usually overrepresented in non-economic activities such as work in their “own household“. They also often bear the double burden of work outside and inside the house, often with little time left for schooling.
  • For children who manage to combine work and education, performance at school often suffers.

We know that poverty often pushes children to work, yet when children leave school early to enter the labor force they are more likely to end up in occupations that limit their chances of breaking out of poverty.

The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal for Education rests on children being free to go to school rather than working to support their families, while ensuring decent work (SDG 8) and eliminating all child labor will be impossible without quality education for all children. Therefore, it is essential that we continue to work on exploring and addressing the links between education and child labor. 

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It is not only that children drop out of school into the labor, but the labor children often get engaged are such that are not without a health risks, with no potential for future prospects for these children. It is a common knowledge that these brisk of businesses are not enough to compensate for the low performance of these children in their schools for those who happened to combine both. Less privileged children were the most affected and suffered the most. In the meantime,every child should be carried along for a better future. We must stop child labor with all its ills for our children to prosper later in life.#Goal4 should be given special priority because of its relativity to achieving the #SDGs.

J'adhère entièrement à votre analyse. Mais cette problématique de travail des enfants est vielle dans nous pays en voie de développement. Depuis que nos pays ont commencé à mettre en oeuvre des plans décennaux de l'éducation des mesures visant la stimulation de la demande ont été testées mais, pour moi, n'ont pas produit les effets escomptés. Le plus gros "lot" de ces enfants est constitué des filles, d'enfants de familles pauvres, ceux des zones dites "à habitats dispersés" et ceux issus des certains parents analphabèques (dont une grande partie est pauvre).
Il faut toutefois nuancer ce qu'on appelle 'travail des enfants" en Afrique: Pour moi, il est nécessaire de pondérer les principales tâches que font les enfants en nombre d'heures/jour ou par semaine. L'ampleur (nombre d'heures élevé) permettra de classer ces tâches comme activités bloquant les apprentissages des enfants ou comme activités familiales (récurrentes).
Aussi, beaucoup d'enfants enrôlés dans les écoles coraniques ne sont pas pris en compte dans les statistiques scolaires des pays comme le mien (le Niger). Or, c'est des milliers d'enfants âgés de 7 à 14 ans qui sont confiés aux "Marabouts" chargé de leur éducation/enseignement islamique. Des procédés pourraient être utilisés pour accompagnés la rénovation de certaines écoles coraniques qui ont des effectifs allant jusqu'à 3000 apprenants chacune.

Nous avons plusieurs autres pistes, nous reviendrons prochainement.

It is a truism that poverty is a vicious cycle as mentioned above. However, the extent to which child labor hinders education is due more to poverty than the supposed lack of access to quality and relevant education. Because those factors are themselves results of poverty. Poverty alleviation and its ultimate eradication stand to be the key to break the vicious cycle, delink child labor and its impact on the education of the child.

It is less arguable, child labor and lack of acceptable educational infrastructure are primarily twin infection contributing to the massive out of school rate in the world. This is especially sporadic in developing countries. To me, what is sad is that most of these countries; especially in the African setting acknowledged child labor and lack of accessible quality school facilities as potentially affecting children progress but tangible efforts to improve the situation have been either weak and or shortsighted or both.We have to act now to better the situation or risk inheriting burdens (millions of less fortunate children). Indeed education can't wait.

The sensitivity or maybe the rationality makes us feel solidarity to this concern. Although focus on the consequences perhaps help us to be aware of it, it is ideal to identify the causes and correctly combine the tools to eradicate it. From our due place, we should not only be informed about this issue but also act accordingly.


Child labour is a perplexing problem that must have multipronged  approaches and conserted efforts right from the grassroots and for this to happen there must be integrated participatory planning.

how does education affect child labour and pls an example

Well idea

most children who found in such act many be a lot of issues and not a single matter. there had being time a child must go to sell before getting feeding money to school.
child labor had actually impeded the academics of our learners.
parents are to all possible to work in order fence their children

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This is really interesting.

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