Children growing up in Britain today may struggle with too much school work, but typically they have the freedom to learn, rest and play.
Teenagers might work at the weekend, do a paper round or help out at home, but serious work is the preserve of adults.
Yet according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), 215 million under-18 year-olds are active in child labour, with over half of them engaged in the most abusive forms, including sexual exploitation, slavery, armed conflict and drug trafficking.
Child labour keeps children out of school, destroys their health and causes trauma. For these reasons the ILO marks the World Day Against Child Labour every 12th June.
So how does ChildHope eliminate child labour without impoverishing children and their families when they lose income?
We are supporting child labourers in Peru, India and EthiopiaOur work in Peru with a local NGO called Proceso Social has led to thousands of children being removed from stone-quarrying and rubbish recycling.
We have raised the incomes of their families but also shown schools how to adapt to the needs of those still involved in work so that they can remain in school and get out of work gradually.
In India, we support a local NGO called Butterflies that offers savings and credit schemes for street and working children across South Asia. Children and adolescents are encouraged to continue their studies whilst being empowered with the knowledge and skills to become entrepreneurs.
Butterflies and fourteen organisations in India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nepal give over 14,000 street and working children the opportunity to save money and earn interest on their deposits, which they then spend on healthcare, education or professional training.
The local charity we fund in Ethiopia, Organization for Child Development and Transformation, prevents child labour by working with local governments and communities to address the root causes of child migration in Ethiopia - AIDS, family abuse, early marriage and poverty in rural areas - and intercepting runaways who might otherwise get tricked or forced into sex work, domestic labour or begging.
Over 50% of Ethiopian children are involved in labour and the average age of marriage for girls or women is 14 years old. Through prevention they reach huge numbers of girls.
ChildHope has been dealing with child labour successfully because we always work with local people; they are in the best position to judge how to get children out of labour and into school without impoverishing their families. We encourage them to innovate, review and then reach more children. Through collaboration between local governments and communities, and by listening to the views of working girls and boys, we have achieved amazing results.
How Can You Stop Child Labour?While progress has been made to reduce the numbers of children in child labour, the rate of decline is slow and more progress is needed.
Please consider making a donation to support our work with vulnerable children including those forced into hazardous labour.
- £5 a month could help enable one family in Peru to start their own business, preventing them from having to rely on their children to engage in labour such as rubbish recycling
- £25 per month is equivalent to the cost educating 20 children for one year in Ethiopia, helping prevent child labour
Please help ChildHope and the international community's collective fight to eliminate the worst forms of child labour by 2016 as it is only together that we can make a tangible and sustainable impact for the 215 million children.