Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Chapter 24: Children who work

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HealthWiki > Workers' Guide to Health and Safety > Chapter 24: Children who work


a girl walking to a factory while she watches a boy run toward a school.

Factories today are not safe places for children to work. Conditions in the factory can hurt children’s growing bodies and reduce their chances of becoming healthy adults. As the ILO says, "Children belong in schools, not supply chains."

You and your union or community organization can help children stay in school and help end child labor in the factory.

  • Reach out to children who work and their families to understand their needs and find solutions that help them, not penalize them for being poor.
  • Negotiate with the boss to pay fair wages to children who work and to help children who work to go to school.
  • Refuse to work alongside child laborers when the boss hires workers who are too young or gives them dangerous work.
  • Report factories who hire children illegally to the authorities and to child welfare agencies so they can help child laborers attend school and receive income.
  • Organize to win laws that protect children and punish those that hire children illegally.
  • Organize for a living wage that allows families to have a decent life, keep children in school, and have access to childcare (see A living wage is a human right).