This map shows how common child labour was in the world, in 2003. The report of the World Bank concerns children aged 10-14 years old. Child working in a mine, early 19th century England.
Laws on child labour, the Factory Acts, were passed in Britain in the 19th century. 16 could work 16 hours per day: Cotton Mills Act. Child labour means that children are forced to work like adults and take part in an economic activity. Child labour refers to the employment of children in any work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful.
Child labour is fundamentally different from casual work done by children, like guarding other children, or helping here and there. Child labour is forbidden in most countries. In some places minor boys and girls work in tea stalls, restaurants, hotels and other small shops.
Some work in huge factories like brick factories. The main reason why child labour occurs is poverty. Some work they do is acceptable, as it is only light, or easy to do.
Children can also do it while they are well-integrated into the family. This kind of work can be done in addition to an education the children are getting. The other kind of work is difficult to do, or it is physically exhausting. It may be dangerous, the children may be required to work for long hours and in humiliating clothing.