Child laborers are children who work regularly for several hours. Clearly distinguishable from this is the “exploitative child labor”, which includes the following points:
- all forms of forced labor, bondage, serfdom and slavery;
- the abuse of children e.g. Prostitution, pornography, drug trafficking, child soldiers
- and any other work that endangers children’s health, safety or morals. These include u. a. also the heavy work in quarries.
You have to differentiate between normal tasks, for example in the household (which do not prevent school attendance), between legal employment of young people and between exploitation of children. For legal (non-exploitative!) employment, most states have set a legal age between 14 and 16 years. In Germany, the minimum age is 15 years with some exceptions for light jobs – newspaper delivery is also allowed for younger adolescents, for example.
In aid organizations, a simplified definition of child labor is used, which also follows XertifiX:
“A person under the age of 15 who is not allowed to go to school because s/he has to work.”