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Child labour and forced labour are violations of fundamental rights as defined by international law. Their prohibition is therefore universal. Conventions recognised as fundamental by the International Labour Organisation define these rights. These definitions are now universally authoritative.

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Indeed, all sectors of activity are likely to be concerned. Note that it is in the agricultural sector that the number of children in child labour is the highest.

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Forced labour is not defined by criteria of good treatment of workers.

There are four main indicators to determine whether a person is in a situation of forced labour:

  • the absence of free and informed consent on the terms of the employment relationship,
  • the existence of a constraint, such as debt bondage,
  • isolation, physical or psychological, triggered by the impossibility of communicating and being assisted,
  • hindering freedom of movement.

Even if they agreed to come and work in this company, did the workers have honest information about the reality of what awaited them, about the costs they would have to bear? Do they really have the possibility of leaving?

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The risks of modern slavery are increasing in Europe. This is the finding of a study published in 2017. The exploitation of the vulnerability of migrants arriving on European coasts is at stake.

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Child labour concerns young people under the age of 18. Between the ages of 15 (or 14 depending on the country, or at a higher age if schooling is compulsory beyond that) and 18, children can work provided that the work does not harm their physical or mental development or their morals. Their work is specially supervised.

Younger children should not be in work.

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Child labour should not be confused with decent employment for young people, such as apprenticeships. Child labour refers to the ABUSIVE work of young people under the age of 18. I.e. work that deprives children of their childhood, of their potential or harms their physical and mental development, and sometimes even their dignity.

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