Today, throughout the world, around 215 million children work, many full-time. They do not go to school and have little or no time to play. Many do not receive proper nutrition or care. They are denied the chance to be children. More than half of them are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments, slavery, or other forms of forced labour, illicit activities including drug trafficking and prostitution, as well as involvement in armed conflict.
Guided by the principles enshrined in the ILO's Minimum Age Convention No. 138 and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention No. 182, the ILO's International Programme on Child Labour (IPEC) works to achieve the effective abolition of child labour.
Created in 1992, IPEC has grown to become the biggest dedicated child labour programme in the world and the largest technical cooperation programme within the ILO. It is now operational in some 90 countries, benefiting millions of children worldwide.