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Concern over child labour

WASHINGTON (Reuter) - Hundreds of millions of children around the world are being forced to work, often at dangerous or illegal jobs, and a rising number of them have become prostitutes or drug runners, says an International Labour Organisation study.

'Child labour is a serious and alarming problem in many parts of the world,' it said. 'Many are employed illegally or in dangerous conditions that maim and kill them, while others grow up without education and condemned to lifelong poverty.' Some as young as five, and as many as 25 per cent of all between 10 and 14 in some regions, are estimated to be working.

Italy and Spain top the list in Western Europe - an estimated 100,000 children work on family farms in Spain.