How Does Child Labor In the Asia Pacific Region Affect Children?

Child labor in the Asia Pacific region is a significant problem. The International Labour Organization estimates that there are over 17 million child laborers in South Asia.1 Every year, millions of children are victims of child labor in agriculture, factories, mines and more. How does child labor affect these children?

  • Decreased education — Child laborers infrequently attend school, and often drop out altogether, because they do not have time, money or energy for education. Many such children do not understand the importance of education or have sufficient support from their parents or families. This lack of education limits their job opportunities as adults. Education provides hope, values and opportunities for children they cannot receive anywhere else.
  • Increased injuries — Child laborers sometimes carry heavy loads, operate dangerous equipment or work in unsafe environments such as cramped tunnels or rocky trails. Hazardous work combined with exhaustion exposes children to opportunities for physical injuries such as broken bones.
  • Increased health concerns — Harsh and unregulated working conditions pose serious health risks for children. Child laborers can experience malnutrition, illnesses, infections and more from their jobs. Farms, mines and other operations can expose children to pesticides and other chemicals, harmful dust or dangerous explosives.

Every year, millions of children in the Asia and Pacific region are victims of child labor in agriculture, factories, mines and more.1 Each child laborer has a unique story of how their work has affected them, their family and their community.

Child labor changed 13-year-old Arieful’s life forever.2

Arieful and his family live in Asia and have experienced dire poverty his entire life. Arieful dropped out of school during first grade to start working in a nearby brick factory, where he spends his days doing back-breaking work making, hauling and sorting bricks out in the hot sun.

Arieful’s work provides crucial income for his family to buy food and other necessities. However, he does not have the time or the energy to think about school or his future. Child labor limits Arieful’s physical opportunities for future jobs, but it also limits his perspective on what he is capable of achieving.

Arieful’s story is saddening, but not uncommon in Asia. Millions of children work dangerous jobs to help their families survive.

Will you become a child sponsor through GFA World? For $35 a month, you can help a child, their family and their community break the cycle of poverty. Through your sponsorship, children feel loved, wanted and hopeful, and they have the opportunity to experience God’s love firsthand.

Learn more about countries with child labor

1 “Child Labour in South Asia.” International Labour Organization. Accessed February 20, 2022.–en/index.htm.
2 “Meet the Children Whose First Jobs Will Impact Them Forever.” UNICEF Australia. August 2016.