Article 32: Child labour


  1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
  2. States Parties shall take legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to ensure the implementation of the present article. To this end, and having regard to the relevant provisions of other international instruments, States Parties shall in particular:
    • (a) Provide for a minimum age or minimum ages for admissions to employment;
    • (b) Provide for appropriate regulation of the hours and conditions of employment;
    • (c) Provide for appropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure the effective enforcement of the present article.

Globally, some 215 million children work, not including the millions of children working off the grid. The majority of child workers are found in agriculture and domestic service, where they are exposed to harmful chemicals, long hours and abuse. In many countries, this kind of work is exempt from laws governing child labour and occupational safety. This is not to say no child should work: but if children have to - or want to - work, it should be safe, fairly paid and should not interfere with their education.