Child "Marriage" is Child Labour

Child “marriage” is not merely a harmful traditional practice: it is a crime, it is child labour in its worst form, and it is a complete violation of a girl’s human rights. AIDS-Free World is pushing the International Labour Organization (ILO) to recognize girls who are forced into illegal marriages as child labourers.

Why? Because millions of girls aren't being counted. 

The ILO's statistics on child labour show that from ages 5 to 11, the number of boys and girls engaged in child labour is fairly equal. From ages 12 to 14, boys involved in child labour start to outnumber girls by about 2.2 million. And at ages 15 to 17, boys account for 81 percent of all child labourers, outnumbering girls by 29.8 million (see a chart here).

But the ratio of boys to girls is skewed because the ILO is not counting child “wives” as child labourers.  If they were to include the girls who are illegally forced into "marriage" every year, the statistics would look completely different. The ILO’s global estimates currently convey to the world a false sense that child "marriage" is not child labour and that the problem of child labour among girls is not as significant as among boys.

Watch this video, and then click on the sections below to learn more.

 Photo: Shutterstock 

Photo: Shutterstock 

The problem

Learn why millions of under-age girls in illegal child "marriages" should properly be classified as child labourers. 

 UN Photo/ UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

UN Photo/ UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

the ilo's position

Read the ILO's illogical contention that girls in illegal child "marriages" are simply performing chores in their illegal spouse's household, so their tasks don't qualify as "work".

Sign a letter

Make your voice heard: tell the ILO to recognize child "marriage" as child labour, and use its convening power to help bring it to an end.