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Child Labor Figures Revised Sharply Higher

November 12, 1996|From Associated Press

From the brothels of Asia to the construction sites of Egypt, nearly twice as many children are working full time in developing countries as previously thought, the International Labor Organization said Monday.

The latest calculations from the U.N. labor agency based in Geneva showed that 250 million 5- to 14-year-olds are employed--half of them full time--up sharply from earlier estimates of 73 million.

The new figures come after in-depth surveys and interviews in numerous countries. Previous estimates were based almost solely on official statistics.

The ILO report found nearly 153 million children are working in Asia, 80 million in Africa and 17.5 million in Latin America. It called for a new international accord banning the harshest forms of child labor: slavery, prostitution and work in hazardous industries.

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