Child employment in manufacturing (% of economically active children ages 7-14)

Definition: Employment by economic activity refers to the distribution of economically active children by the major industrial categories (ISIC revision 2 or revision 3). Manufacturing corresponds to division 3 (ISIC revision 2) or category D (ISIC revision 3). Economically active children refer to children involved in economic activity for at least one hour in the reference week of the survey.

Description: The map below shows how Child employment in manufacturing (% of economically active children ages 7-14) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is India, with a value of 27.57. The country with the lowest value in the world is Lesotho, with a value of 0.00.

Source: Understanding Children's Work project based on data from ILO, UNICEF and the World Bank.

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: In most countries more boys are involved in employment, or the gender difference is small. However, girls are often more present in hidden or underreported forms of employment such as domestic service, and in almost all societies girls bear greater responsibility for household chores in their own homes, work that lies outside the System of National Accounts production boundary and is thus not considered in estimates of children's employment.

Limitations and Exceptions: Data are from household surveys by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank, and national statistical offices. The surveys yield data on education, employment, health, expenditure, and consumption indicators related to children's work. Household survey data generally include information on work type - for example, whether a child is working for payment in cash or in kind or is involved in unpaid work, working for someone who is not a member of the household, or involved in any type of family work (on the farm or in a business). Although efforts are made to harmonize the definition of employment and the questions on employment in survey questionnaires, significant differences remain in the survey instruments that collect data on children in employment and in the sampling design underlying the surveys. Differences exist not only across different household surveys in the same country but also across the same type of survey carried out in different countries, so estimates of working children are not fully comparable across countries.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The data refer to children's work in the sense of "economic activity" - that is, children in employment, a broader concept than child labor (see ILO 2009a for details on this distinction). In line with the definition of economic activity adopted by the 13th International Conference of Labour Statisticians, the threshold set by the 1993 UN System of National Accounts for classifying a person as employed is to have been engaged at least one hour in any activity relating to the production of goods and services during the reference period. Children seeking work are thus excluded. Economic activity covers all market production and certain nonmarket production, including production of goods for own use. It excludes unpaid household services (commonly called "household chores") - that is, the production of domestic and personal services by household members for a household's own consumption. Country surveys define the ages for child labor as 5-17. The data here have been recalculated to present statistics for children ages 7-14.

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: The time series may not be comparable across countries and over time due to differences in survey instruments and survey type. For detailed source information, see footnotes at each data point.