Key concepts and definitions
Not all work done by children is classified as child labour targeted for elimination. Children’s or adolescents’ participation in economic work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with / prejudice their schooling or their participation in vocational orientation or training programmes is generally regarded as positive.
This includes activities such as helping their parents around the home, assisting in a family business or earning pocket money outside school hours and during school holidays for a few hours and under adult supervision. These kinds of activities contribute to children’s development and the welfare of their families. It provides them with skills and experience and prepares them to be productive members of society during their adult life.
The term “child labour” is defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity. It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially and/or morally harmful to children. It interferes with their schooling by:
• depriving them of the opportunity to attend school;
• obliging them to leave school prematurely; or
• requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.
Worst Forms of Child labour (WFCL)
“Worst forms of child labour” covers four major categories:
• all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict;
• the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances;
• the use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in the relevant international treaties;
• Work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children (hazardous work).