"Prioritize the most harmful, often invisible, forms of child labour"
Export industries are a highly visible sector in which children work. Footballs made by children in Pakistan for children in industrialized countries and adults in World Cup matches may be a compelling symbol. But in fact, only a very small percentage of child workers are employed in export-sector industries - probably less than 5 per cent - and tens of millions of children around the world work in non-export areas, often in hazardous or exploitative work or working conditions.
A study in Bangladesh, for example, revealed that children were active in more than 300 economic activities. These ranged from household work to brick-making, from stone-breaking to selling in shops and on streets, from bicycle-repair to garbage-collecting and rag-picking, and jobs in the informal sector. This assessment took into account only jobs done in cities. A total of 39 occupations were rated as hazardous for children.1 Such a range of work by children is found in many countries.
The message needs to get through to the media that, worldwide, the overall majority of children work on farms and plantations or in private homes, far from the reach of labour inspectors and media scrutiny. Many children labour in virtual invisibility, doing dangerous work.
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