Over one million children at work in Brazil!

According to the latest figures and statistics of the population census conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, short the IBGE, over one million children aged between 10 and 14 work in the country, despite government measures against child exploitation.

Although it is illegal for a child to work in Brazil until he or she is 18 years old many children  work as domestic servants or in small farms, particularly in the most difficult places to reach, where invisible child labor is most widespread. Another difficulty for the government to decrease child work is of a cultural nature, since it is a generally accepted practice in rural areas of Brazil.

Especially children from low-income families are still forced to work in Latin America’s biggest country and have no chance or opportunity to enjoy an appropriate education at school as well as no chance to have social contacts. The Brazilian Northeast, for example, is the region with the largest number of children working in agriculture – about 800,000 or 50% of the total child workforce. In 2008, the ILO defined as “critical” the number of children working in 18 municipalities in the semi-arid region of Northern Bahia. Most were employed in family farming, often encouraged by their parents and supported by the community.  Maria Cláudia Falcão, a project officer in Brazil for the ILO’s International Program to Eliminate Child Labor (IPEC) says: “We must invest in full-time education and show parents that making their children help to support the family is not a positive thing, child labor is a human rights violation.”

In order to abolish this “child- work-phenomenon” by 2020, according to experts, more effort on behalf of the government is needed, since the current monitoring system fails to detect children who work in hidden areas…and the domestic work seems to be the hardest to monitor.

Brazil has More Than One Million Child Workers, Plans to Eliminate Practice by 2020

Photo: Tackling Child Labor in Brazil

Other countries and their Child Labour risks:









9 thoughts on “Over one million children at work in Brazil!

  1. There are some shocking figures in this blog. But I think that the child labour is a problem that can’t be just solved by one country. It is an international problem, and they have to try to make it stop. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will in the near future, the problem is to complex. Besides that, are some families no able to live if the children stop working. It’s such a big and complex issue, so it needs a huge and long term approach.

  2. I have got a little nephew at the age of 11 years and I couldn´t imagine that he works for example in a factory producing for example clothes. Where is the childhood of this children who are working at the age of 10 years. Everybody knows that especially in the clouth industry the clothes are very often produced by children work, but nearly nobody cares about?!? Where is the state who should protect the children in this countries?!? Where is the future for this children? Instead of learning how to write and figuring children learn to work hard. They haven´t any chance to find later any better jobs, because they don´t have any education. Why is our world so different?

  3. This is a huge problem at the moment and its very hard to make it stop.
    Nevertheless, the basis of determined and concerted action must be legislation, which sets the total elimination of child labour as the ultimate goal of policy, and puts measures into place for this purpose, and which explicitly identifies and prohibits the worst forms of child labour to be eliminated as a matter of priority. My opinion is that everything can be done, if everybody really want it, but that is usually the main problem, do everybody really want it?

  4. It is really horrible when I imagin that i am just wasting my time in school, and some children just at age of 10years have to hardly work and don’t have this oportunity to study and to have at least any future. I feel bad, That I am wasting sources which other people could much more better use then me and needs them more.
    I know about some foundations which are interested in this area and are trying to make it better. But still it is so huge problem which is spread all over the world that there have to be a different authority that must improve this situation.

  5. These facts are always shocking. But is there a solution? The families need food and drinks. The foundations are working against it, but in economic bad times you can’t beat it because more parents lose their jobs. Some companies are also in a really worse dilemma. They have children als employee, but they know if they lose their job they can’t eat or will work in the prostitution. A solution could be: working 3 days in the company and 2 days learning. Companies can change this. But another problem is, how can you beat companies with a lot children working. They can make their products with lower costs.In this case the employer is really important.

  6. I was shocked to read this post.
    I never knew that child labour occurred so much as it does. Obviously I knew that child labour still exists unfortunately, but not in these extreme numbers.
    It’s very important that the government tries to eliminate child labour as much as possible. In the hidden areas not only monitoring will help to prevent child labour, but also education.
    With that I mean the education of the parents and the society. When they will realise that it is better for their children to stay in school and get educated it will become easier to let their children go to school instead of working.
    It is not only the parents who send their children to work, but it is also the pressure of the community. When it’s very normal to send your child to work instead of school it’s difficult to go against it.
    I think that education of the society combined with monitoring by the government is a good combination to prevent child labour. It will definitely take some time, but it will be worth it.

  7. Reading this truely shocked me, i find this hard to imagine in this day in age unfortunately these things are happening. I firmly believe that everything possible should be done to try and prevent this from ongoing any longer. Money could be raised or donated in order to try and provide these children with a proper education. Or another way to try and prevent this would be by raising money to build a home for the children where they would have a chance to learn and have a better life.

  8. This topic really shocked me. It’s so sad and I can’t imagine that parents send their children to a factory in stead of school. But it’s very difficult to solve this problem. You said in your blog that it’s forbidden in Brazil, but it does happen in this country! So the only way to solve this problem in the whole world is that some organisation get involved. People from all countries can donate money to get those little children an education.


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