On the occasion of the World Day against Child labour on June 12, Terre des Hommes publishes a report that shows the contemporary characteristics of child slavery. Forced labour by children is a global problem. However, very little data is available on how many children throughout the world are forced into work. This is hardly surprising given the illegal nature of such labour; methods of data collection such as statistical surveys, commonly used in other areas of research simply do not yield reliable results in this case.
A further problem in data collection is the question as to what forms of work are described as forced labour. Apart from obviously illegal forms such as slavery, there is a large grey area in which child labour, as a rule forbidden by law, also becomes forced labour.In 2012, the ILO has published various figures on the extent of forced labour, which estimate the number of children in forced labour at 5.5 million of a total of 20.9 forced labourers.
On behalf of child rights organization Terre des Hommes economist Friedel Hütz-Adams has now brought together from over a hundred legal sources and current studies definitions, data, regional hotspots and manifestations as well as stories of victims, drawing a current picture of the overall situation. The study concludes with recommendations to governments, companies and non-governmental organizations: what needs to be done to prevent and end forced labour of children and adults?