Global March

The South Asia and Southeast Asia Regional Symposium on Promoting Area-Based Approach to eliminate child labour

Child labour remains a pressing issue in South Asian and Southeast Asian countries. According to
the ILO’s report of 2020, out of the 160 million of children (5–17-year-old) engaged in child labour
worldwide, 24.3 million (6.2%) are in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, while 26.3 million (5.5%) are
in Central and Southern Asia. In both regions, child labour is highly concentrated in rural areas
(75.2%) compared to urban areas (24.8%) and the agricultural sector accounts for the largest share
of child labour (56-59%) compared to the services (23-28%) and the industrial (16-18%) sectors.
Most children in child labour in these regions work within their own family unit (60-62%), followed
by being employed (24-30%) and being own account workers (9-16%). Across all regions, the
highest account of children out of school is found in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia (37.2%) and
Central and Southern Asia (35.3%) keeping children engaged in child labour or at high risk of
entering child labour.

Geeta Kumari

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