Current CAMPAIGN

Child marriage is child labour

 
Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

 
 

Child “marriage” is not merely a harmful traditional practice: it is a crime, it is child labour in its worst form, and it is a complete violation of a girl’s human rights. AIDS-Free World is pushing the International Labour Organization (ILO) to recognize girls who are forced into illegal marriages as child labourers.

Why? Because millions of girls aren't being counted.

The ILO's statistics on child labour show that from ages 5 to 11, the number of boys and girls engaged in child labour is fairly equal. From ages 12 to 14, boys involved in child labour start to outnumber girls by about 2.2 million. And at ages 15 to 17, boys account for 81 percent of all child labourers, outnumbering girls by 29.8 million (see a chart here).

But the ratio of boys to girls is skewed because the ILO is not counting child “wives” as child labourers.  If they were to include the girls who are illegally forced into "marriage" every year, the statistics would look completely different. The ILO’s global estimates currently convey to the world a false sense that child "marriage" is not child labour and that the problem of child labour among girls is not as significant as among boys.

Learn more about the campaign and get involved here.