World's worst countries for child labour: Guess where India stands?

12th June each year marks the World Day Against Child Labour day.

With 33 million child labourers, India is already one of the key countries in focus. The bad news is that the COVID-19 crisis may push millions more children into child labour, including in countries like India, Brazil and Mexico, reversing progress made over the last 20 years during when it was brought down by 94 million, according to a new report.

According to the new brief from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UNICEF titled ‘COVID-19 and child labour: A time of crisis, a time to act’ released on Friday, child labour decreased by 94 million since 2000, but that gain is now at risk. Read more here.

The international consulting firm Maplecroft has compiled a Child Labor Index to rank them. The Child Labour Index forms part of Verisk Maplecroft’s Human Rights Dataset, which consists of 32 indices assessing key elements of the human rights and development environment. These include issues covering labour rights, civil and political rights, human security, poverty, education and health.

Verisk Maplecroft’s human rights risk indices are developed using quantitative and qualitative data from a range of respected sources. In simple terms these can be described as the severity and frequency of violations, a country’s adoption of laws and international treaties, and their ability and will to enforce these laws through government agencies. Key sources for the construction of the index include, the International Labor Organisation, the UN, The US Department of Labor, the US State Department, the World Bank and others.

According to the latest annual Child Labour Index (2019), which assesses 198 countries, manufacturing hubs, including China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia have registered no tangible improvement in the ranking since 2016.

India performs poorly on the Child Labour Index with a total score of 3.05 out of 10 (where 0.00 is the worst score possible). It is ranked 48th in the index and sits within the ‘high risk’ category. India is among the 25% worst performing countries globally.

On this day, here’s a look at the countries which are categorised as the worst for children as they are forced into labor under extreme conditions, sex trades, and even war. In these countries, children are made to work in dangerous jobs such as logging, mining, and fighting wars, as well as exploiting them as beggars, household help, and even for sexual purposes.