10 million children work as domestic servants in slave-like conditions, says UN labour agency
Thursday 13 June 2013
As many as 10.5 million children worldwide work as domestic servants, in what can be hazardous and even slave-like conditions, the International Labour Organization said.
The UN labour agency said almost three quarters of such youngsters are girls, and that 6.5 million child servants are between five and 14 years old.
The reality on the ground flies in the face of international efforts to halt such exploitation, said Constance Thomas, director of the ILO's global programme to eliminate child labour.
"The situation of many child domestic workers not only constitutes a serious violation of child rights, but remains an obstacle to the achievement of many national and international development objectives," she said.
The problem is global though sub-Saharan Africa remains a leading concern, notably countries such as Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Mali, according to the ILO.
In an 87-page report released to mark World Day Against Child Labour on June 12, it also underscored that rural families in Pakistan and Nepal are sometimes forced to send their children into domestic service in order to pay off their debts.
In Haiti, hundreds of thousands of children, including those who have escaped natural disasters, have ended up in domestic work little better than slavery.
And thousands of young girls from Ethiopia are every year sent to the Middle East to work as servants.
The ILO said such youngsters usually work in the homes of a third party or employer, carrying out tasks such as cleaning, ironing, cooking, gardening, collecting water, looking after other children and caring for the elderly.
Vulnerable to physical, psychological and sexual violence and abusive working conditions, they are often isolated from their families, hidden from the public eye, and become highly dependent on their employers.
They can also risk ending up being forced into prostitution, the ILO said.
"We need a robust legal framework to clearly identify, prevent and eliminate child labour in domestic work, and to provide decent working conditions to adolescents when they can legally work," Thomas said.
Child domestic work is not recognised as a form of child labour in many countries because of the blurred relationship with the employing family, the report said.
Such children work but are not considered workers and, while they live in a family setting, are not treated as a family member, it said.
This "care vacuum" opens the way to exploitation, but such youngsters are difficult to protect because they can be hidden from the public eye.
Child domestic servants represent some five percent of all children under the age of 17 in employment around the world, according to ILO figures.
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 'Necrophilia-obsessed' girl among double murder accused in three-way sex case
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Science Teacher - NewportKey ...
£100 - £110 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Professional Training: Randstad E...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - Camden / Ken...
£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Year 5 class teacher vacan...