According to International Labour Organization Convention 182, there are four categories of the worst forms of child labor:
a) All forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale, trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom or compulsory labor, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict;
b) The use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances;
c) The use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in the relevant international treaties;
d) Work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of child (hazardous work).
Categories (a), (b) and (c) are known as the unconditional forms of child labor, meaning they are prohibited without regard to the age of the child, the nature of the tasks executed, the conditions and circumstances in which those tasks are executed.
Category (d) – hazardous work – is a conditional worst form of child labor, meaning it must be defined locally, through the nationally defined list of hazardous activities. Hazardous work is work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety, or morals of children. According to International Labour Organization Convention 182, the precise nature of those tasks that are prohibited are to be defined and reviewed by each country.
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Entry added: September 14, 2022
Verified on: September 14, 2023
International Cocoa Initiative (ICI)
“Child Labour & Forced Labour: A glossary of definitions,” International Cocoa Initiative, February 1, 2022
“C182 – Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182),” International Labour Organization
“Comparative analysis of child labour decrees in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana,” International Cocoa Initiative
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