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Total Child Labor

0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

40%

45%

Click on a country for details.

Child Labor by Country 2024

Child labor is a controversial practice and is often illegal in many countries. It involves using children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old who are used for labor in a commercial or business setting. However, just because it is frowned upon, that doesn't mean that it isn't still a popular practice around the globe. In this article, we will take a closer look at which countries still rely heavily on child labor and how the numbers stack up among one another.

The majority of the countries that still participate in child labor practices are located in either Africa or South America. A total of 47 countries, including Ethiopia, Cameroon, Chad, Togo, Madagascar, Laos, Zambia, Nepal, Ivory Coast, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Fiji, Peru, Honduras, Mongolia, Bolivia, Samoa, Afghanistan, Mali, and Cambodia still use child labor regularly.

The country with the highest number of child labor workers is Ethiopia. The country has a rating of 45 with males outpacing females 51 to 39. The next country on the list is Burkina Faso. The country has a score of 42. Here, the ratio of female to male child labor workers is a little more split with males just outpacing females 44 to 40.

Cameroon, Chad, and Togo all share the next place on the list with a score of 39, each. They are also nearly evenly split between males and females with scores of 38:40 (males) 40:39 (females), and 39:38 (females). Madagascar is next on the list with a score of 37, which is divided into a ratio of 35 females to 38 males. Haiti follows that score with 36. In Haiti, the number of child labor workers screws drastically in the male direction with a ratio of 44 males to 26 females.

There are also several countries that have very low child labor numbers. Turkmenistan, even though the practice is legal in the country, currently doesn't have a record of having any child labor workers. Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sri Lanka all have ratings of 1. Georgia, Panama, Georgia, and Tunisia all have ratings of just 2.

Several countries have a rating of 3 when it comes to child labor workers, including Saint Lucia, Belize, North Macedonia, Jamaica, Albania, Ukraine, and Algeria. The countries of Turkey, South Africa, North Korea, Dominican Republic, Belarus, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Armenia, Bhutan, Suriname, and Tuvalu all have child labor rates of 4.

  • Data years: 2014-2022

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Country
Total Child Labor
Females
Males
Data Source
Ethiopia45%39%51%National CLS 2015, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Burkina Faso42%40%44%DHS 2010, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Cameroon39%38%40%MICS 2014, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Chad39%40%39%MICS 2019, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Togo39%39%38%MICS 2017, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Madagascar37%35%38%MICS 2018, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Haiti36%26%44%DHS 2012, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Niger34%34%34%DHS 2012, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Liberia32%34%29%DHS 2019-20, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Nigeria31%30%33%MICS 2021
Burundi31%32%30%DHS 2016-17, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Zimbabwe28%22%33%MICS 2019, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Laos28%29%27%MICS 2017, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Comoros28%32%25%DHS 2012, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Central African Republic27%29%25%MICS 2018-19, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Tonga26%19%33%MICS 2019, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Tanzania25%24%26%Integrated LFS-CLS 2014, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Benin25%26%24%DHS 2017-18, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Sierra Leone25%25%26%MICS 2017, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Guinea24%25%24%MICS 2016, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Zambia23%23%23%Labour Force and CLS 2012, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Senegal23%19%27%DHS 2015-16, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Nepal22%23%20%MICS 2014, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Ivory Coast22%23%22%MICS 2016, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Kyrgyzstan22%19%25%MICS 2018, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Uzbekistan21%18%23%MICS 2021-22
Ghana20%22%19%MICS 2017-18, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Angola19%20%17%DHS 2015-16, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Rwanda19%21%17%Integrated Household LCS 2013-14, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Gabon19%17%20%DHS 2012, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Uganda18%19%17%National LFS 2016-17, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Sudan18%16%20%MICS 2014, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Paraguay18%13%20%MICS 2016, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Solomon Islands18%19%17%DHS 2015, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Gambia17%17%17%MICS 2018, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Guinea Bissau17%16%18%MICS 2018-19, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Fiji17%13%20%MICS 2021
Kiribati17%15%19%MICS 2018-19, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Vanuatu16%16%15%DHS 2013, UNICEF and ILO calculations
DR Congo15%17%13%MICS 2017-18, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Peru15%15%14%CLS (Encuesta Trabajo Infantil) 2015, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Honduras15%13%18%MICS 2019, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Mongolia15%13%16%MICS 2018, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Malawi14%14%14%MICS 2019-20, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Bolivia14%13%14%ENNA 2019, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Republic of the Congo14%15%13%MICS 2014-15, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Mauritania14%13%15%MICS 2015, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Lesotho14%13%15%MICS 2018, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Samoa14%11%16%MICS 2019-20, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Afghanistan13%12%14%IELFS 2020, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Mali13%12%15%Enquête Modulaire et Permanente auprès des Ménages 2017, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Cambodia13%14%12%LFS 2012, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Pakistan11%10%13%LFS 2017-18, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Guyana11%12%10%MICS 2014, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Sao Tome and Principe11%12%9%MICS 2019, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Myanmar10%10%10%LFS 2015, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Serbia10%8%11%MICS 2019, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Timor Leste9%10%9%National Child Labour and Forced Labour Survey 2016, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Eswatini8%7%8%MICS 2010, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Montenegro8%7%9%MICS 2018, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Bangladesh7%5%9%MICS 2019, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Vietnam7%8%6%MICS 2020-21, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Colombia7%7%7%GEIH 2020, UNICEF and ILO calculations
El Salvador7%7%6%Encuesta de Hogares de Propósitos Múltiples (EHPM) 2019, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Palestine7%5%10%MICS 2019-20, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Chile6%5%7%Youth Activity Survey (Encuesta de Actividades de Nino, Ninas y Adolescentes) 2012, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Turks and Caicos Islands6%3%9%MICS 2019-20, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Brazil5%5%5%National Household Sample Survey (Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicilios) 2015, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Mexico5%3%6%ENTI 2019, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Egypt5%4%6%DHS 2014, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Iraq5%4%5%MICS 2018, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Turkey4%4%4%CLFS 2019, UNICEF and ILO calculations
South Africa4%3%4%Survey of Activities of Young People 2015, UNICEF and ILO calculations
North Korea4%4%5%MICS 2017, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Dominican Republic4%3%5%MICS 2019, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Belarus4%3%5%MICS 2019, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Costa Rica4%3%4%MICS 2018, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Uruguay4%3%5%CLS (Encuesta Nacional de Trabajo Infantil) 2010, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Armenia4%3%5%CLS 2015, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Bhutan4%4%3%MICS 2010, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Suriname4%4%5%MICS 2018, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Tuvalu4%5%3%MICS 2019-20, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Algeria3%2%3%MICS 2018-19, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Ukraine3%3%3%MICS 2012, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Albania3%3%4%CLS 2010, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Jamaica3%2%3%Jamaica Youth Activity Survey 2016, UNICEF and ILO calculations
North Macedonia3%2%4%MICS 2018-19, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Belize3%3%4%CAS 2013, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Saint Lucia3%2%5%MICS 2012, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Tunisia2%1%3%MICS 2011-12, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Jordan2%1%2%CLS 2016, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Panama2%1%3%Encuesta Trabajo Infantil (ETI) 2016, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Georgia2%1%2%CLS 2015, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Sri Lanka1%1%1%CAS 2016, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Trinidad and Tobago1%1%1%MICS 2011, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Barbados1%1%2%MICS 2012, UNICEF and ILO calculations
Turkmenistan0%0%0%MICS 2015-16, UNICEF and ILO calculations
showing: 97 rows

Which countries still have child labor?

Forty-seven countries still have child labor. Some of those countries include Ethiopia, Cameroon, Chad, Togo, Madagascar, Laos, Zambia, Nepal, Ivory Coast, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Fiji, Peru, Honduras, Mongolia, Bolivia, Samoa, Afghanistan, Mali, and Cambodia.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources