Helping Hands or Shackled Lives? Understanding child domestic labour and responses to it

The report brings together latest research undertaken by the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) and work done by other organizations and refers to relevant ILO Conventions. It includes a number of case studies drawn from field work, and suggests possible future actions to be taken governments, labour sector partners, and NGOs.

In every country of the world, children lend a helping hand in their own home.
This can be a positive experience for them, helping them to learn basic skills and
to feel that they are contributing to the family.This is not child domestic labour.
Child domestic labour refers to situations where children perform domestic
tasks in the home of a third party or ‘employer’ under exploitative conditions
(long working hours, with no or little wages, for example, or below the minimum
working age).These children, working behind closed doors in a private home, are
extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.And yet, in many countries of the
world, children working as child-minders, maids, cooks, cleaners, gardeners and
general house-helps are a familiar sight. In fact, as much of the available literature
shows, child domestic labour is one of the most common and traditional forms of
child labour. Existing research suggests that, across the globe, more girls under 16 are employed in domestic service than in any other form of work.