What is child labour?

  • It is the work performed by children and adolescents engaged in economic activities who are under the minimum age to work in accordance with national law and international standards.

  • Work performed by adolescents engaged in economic activities who, being of or over the mínimum age to be permitted to work, do so in hazardous activities that endanger their health, safety and/or moral development.

  • Exploitative child and adolescent work, also called “the worst forms of child labour other than hazardous work” (such as slavery, tracking of drugs, commercial sexual exploitation, use in armed conflict, among others)

Why is it necessary to eliminate child labour?


  • Child labour deepens social inequality, depriving children and adolescents of the education and training they need for their own development and for the progress of their family and community.

  • Child labour exacerbates the economic and social vulnerabilities of low-income families.

  • The discrimination faced by girls, makes them particularly vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and deprivation of their rights.

  • Eliminating child labour means realizing the fundamental rights of children and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean, which are embodied in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

  • Eliminating child labour is a way to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

  • Building global citizenship begins from early childhood (0 - 8 years) in a context of equity and equality of opportunities and of respect for their rights.