Child Labor

Is Child Labor Illegal?

Answering the question “Is child labor illegal?” is unfortunately a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. While many countries have laws and ordinances against using child laborers, it is sometimes difficult to regularly enforce those rules; it takes money and resources that many nations can’t spare.

From 2000 to 2016, the number of kids forced to work was trending downwards, falling by 94 million children in that time, but that progress has now stalled for the first time in 20 years.[1] The United Nations proposed in its targets for countries to take immediate action against child labor and end it in all forms by 2025.[2] This would seem to indicate that the terrible practice will be over in the next few years; however, certain companies are hesitant in doing their part to meet this goal and the edicts of their countries. Children are the least expensive laborers, as they have little to no bargaining power and are easily manipulated.[3] Employing children minimizes cost, and some companies are not too eager to see that extra profit margin go.[4] Sadly, families of child laborers can also argue hardest against reform in this area because it means they lose that extra source of income.[5] The truth is that a lot of impoverished families rely just as much on the children’s income as the parents’ to survive.[6]

Even with new laws that monitor supply chains and blockchains—ensuring companies’ products are not produced with child labor—there is still more to be done to end the practice for all. Rather than focusing solely on legislative and legal aspects, GFA World has taken a large role in offering practical assistance through various means in areas such as Asia and Africa.

For instance, they offer sponsorships for children in need, which provides children with essentials such as free schooling, supplies, food and healthcare, alleviating some financial burden from the family and giving the children better opportunities for their future. GFA World also trains the parents, showing them how important their kids’ education is for breaking out of the cycle of poverty and offering vocational training.[7]

GFA World’s work is so important, and it makes a world of difference for children to be able to go to school instead of slaving away in mines or on farms. The care and guidance children and their families receive through the sponsorship program are life-changing. Consider joining GFA World’s work against child labor. Sponsoring a child is just $35 a month, and it brings child labor another step closer to its end.

Learn more about child labor

[1] “Child Labour.” Unicef. June 9, 2021.
[2] “#Envision2030 Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.” United Nations. Accessed October 22, 2022.
[3] Gutheil, Lou. “Child Labor: Not Gone, But Forgotten.” GFA World. July 9, 2019.
[4] Gearhart, Judy. “Commit to Ending Child Labor Now!” International Labor Rights Forum. June 12, 2018.
[5] Walt, Vivienne. “Blood, Sweat, and Batteries.” Fortune. August 23, 2018.
[6] UNICEF. 2021. “Child Labour.” Unicef. UNICEF. June 9, 2021.
[7] “Sponsor a Child with GFA World.” GFA World. Accessed October 22, 2022.