Global estimates from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Walk Free indicate that 152 million children between the ages of 5 to 17 engaged in child labor in 2016, of which about 73 million were in hazardous labor. Concerted efforts by governments, workers, employers, and civil society have resulted in a reduction of nearly 94 million children engaged in child labor in the last 17 years. While this decline has been a significant achievement, there are still far too many children in exploitative work. Child laborers are found carrying heavy loads and wielding machetes on farms; scavenging in garbage dumps and being exposed to electronic waste; enduring physical, emotional, and verbal abuse as domestic servants; fighting as combatants in armed conflict; and subject to trafficking for forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. The ILO also estimates that 25 million people are trapped in forced labor, including over 4 million children.
Children and adults are forced to climb into mine shafts in search of diamonds and gold; are coerced, deceived, and confined on fishing vessels by unscrupulous labor recruiters; and are trapped in bonded labor while toiling in the extreme heat of brick kilns.