In South Asia, around 44 million or 13% of all children are involved in child labour. Economic exploitation is seen as one of the most common forms of violence in the region. Children often work long hours with little or no pay. There is a great deal of commonality across the South Asian countries in the forms of child labour, most notably in the areas of children in hazardous child labour, child domestic labour, children in export oriented industries, child bonded labour particularly in agriculture, and child labour in the informal economy, particularly in urban areas. Children not only face occupational hazards like handling heavy machineries or chemicals in their workplaces, but are also vulnerable and subjected to physical and sexual abuse. Additionally, these children are usually denied educational opportunities, which leads to a cycle of poverty and vulnerability.
By 2015, States recognise the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development by ratifying ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour.
1. # of States that have ratified ILO Convention 182
2. # of States that have programmes where children can combine work with educational opportunities
3. # of States that have initiated a Code of Conduct for protecting children in workplaces