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U.N. Child Labor Study Is Grim

June 11, 2004|From Associated Press

GENEVA — An estimated 10 million children worldwide are forced to work in slave-like conditions as domestic servants in private homes, the U.N.'s labor agency said Thursday.

The International Labor Organization said in a new report that in parts of West Africa, Central America and Asia, thousands of girls as young as 8 work 15 or more hours a day, seven days a week, for little or no pay.

The child workers -- who are employed in homes where having servants is a sign of social status -- are sometimes sexually abused. More troubling was that employing children as domestic servants is accepted or tolerated in many places, said June Kane, author of the United Nations study. "Sadly, many countries don't see domestic child labor as a problem," she said.

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