World Day Against Child Labor

One hundred sixty eight million children are estimated to be involved in child labor worldwide1, which is nearly half the population of the United States. Almost 1 in every 10 children in Asia and the Pacific between the ages of 5 and 17 are engaged in child labor.2

June 12 is World Day Against Child Labor, where we can especially focus on children in Asia and around the world who are at risk of being caught in slavery or some other form of child labor.

168,000,000 children

are estimated to be involved in child labor worldwide.

Not all children are forced into child labor. Some will go to work to help support their family’s income. Others, however, are abducted by strangers and put into forced labor, or even trafficked and exploited in the sex trade. It’s estimated that there are more than 20 million children on the streets of South Asia, who are often at risk of being involved in the worst forms of labor.3

This little girl lives in a slum in Asia. Many children in slums start working at an early age due to the financial constraints on their family, doing jobs like picking through trash, working in small hotels or doing domestic help.

More Statistics on Child Labor in Asia

In Thailand, almost 1 out of every 8 children are engaged in child labor. This includes agricultural work, industrial labor and sexual exploitation—such as the production of pornography.4

In Bangladesh, an estimated 18 percent of working children ages 5–14 are involved in a variety of hazardous occupations, such as making cigarettes by hand, construction, ship breaking, tanneries, and the garment industry.5

In Sri Lanka, one of the most physically punishing forms of child labor is the fishing industry, which exposes children to deep-sea fishing, prolonged exposure to cold water, poisonous snakes and other harmful sea creatures.6

It is estimated that 4,500 women and children from Bangladesh are trafficked to Pakistan each year.7

What can be done to stop this?

God sees each child caught in child labor, slavery and sex trafficking. He cares for the fatherless, oppressed and widowed.8

“Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.”—Psalm 146:7,9, NKJV

Please Pray for the Children

We serve a big God who answers big prayers like this one: freedom for the 168 million children in child labor. Please join us in praying for these children.

  • Pray for children to be rescued, reunited and accepted back into their families.
  • Pray for the physical needs of the children. Most do not get enough to eat, and the physical labor they are forced to do can cripple their bodies. Pray for the Lord to provide for them and protect them from harm.
  • Pray for the girls—and boys—forced to work in the sex trade. Ask the Lord to bring the brothel owners' and customers' misdeeds into the light and for the love of Jesus to permeate those dark places.
  • Please pray for the governments of Asian countries in their efforts to end the exploitation of children.
Read how Nadish, a boy in Bridge of Hope, escaped forced labor

Help At-risk Children in Asia

World Day Against Child Labor

Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope Program

Another way at-risk children in Asia are being helped is through Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope Program. This child sponsorship program enables thousands of children in Asia to receive a healthy meal each day, medical care and a good education, giving them the opportunity to learn instead of work. Through the Bridge of Hope program, children also come to realize their true value and worth in Jesus Christ.

Sponsor a child in Asia

1UNICEF: Child protection from violence, exploitation and abuse, 2017.

2U.S. Department of Labor, International Child Labor & Forced Labor Report, 2014.

3Asian Development Bank, At the Margins: Street Children in Asia and the Pacific, 2003.

4U.S. Department of Labor, International Labor Affairs report, 2014.

5U.S. Department of Labor, International Labor Affairs report, 2014.

6Sri Lanka’s Roadmap 2016 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour. From Commitment to Action. 2010.

7Source: ILO, “Combating Child Trafficking, Project Overview: Bangladesh”

8Psalm 146:7,9. NKJV

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