Child labour is generally accepted to be bad. Aside from being hazardous to individuals not yet mentally and physically developed, it also often correlates with not being able to attain an education, leading to increased risk of poverty over the course of their life. Most nations have laws in place to attempt to prevent child labour practices, and United Nations has several international laws and treaties in place. But according to the new the risk analysis firm Maplecroft's child labour index for 2014, it is still alive and well. High income inequality, government corruption or inefficiency, poor economic growth, and an already existing trend of poverty are all major contributors to leading to scenarios where child labour is practiced. Here are the top ten worst nations for child labour according to Maplecroft.
Consistently ranked as one of the worst nations across almost all spectrums of civil liberties and human rights, it should come as no surprise that the poverty stricken nation with it's general lack stability tops the list.
Child labour is even enforced by the Eritrean government, which enforces the policy of Mahtot, wherein children are required to work at least 2 months out of the year in-between school.
Without a stable government since 1991, Somalia suffers from high rates of child soldiers and few if any laws or regulations to prevent child labor.
According to the Department of Labour, "Somalia continue(s) to lack nearly all elements necessary to address the worst forms of child labor, including a solid legal framework, law enforcement, policies, and programs. Children continue to engage in the worst forms of child labor, many of them in dangerous activities in agriculture and some as child soldiers."
Although the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has signed UN treaties on child labour, the nation still continues to struggle. The military and rebel groups still actively kidnap or recruit child soldiers and laborers, and according to the Department of Labour children are often engaged in risky mining activities, such as "forced labor in the mining of gold, cassiterite (tin ore), coltan (tantalum ore), and wolframite (tungsten ore)."
Only just coming out of its shell after decades under a repressive military junta, Myanmar is still plagued with several problems left over from her economic isolation and constant warfare with ethnic groups.
Notorious for having the largest amount of child soldiers in the world, Myanmar also has few laws against child labour and suffers from lack of enforcement.
Another war and instability ridden African nation, according to the Child Labour Coalition "nearly one-third of children between 10 and 14 work (in Sudan)."
Suffering from almost constant warfare since the Soviet invasion in 1979, the central asian nation of Afghanistan has a stunted economy and a government that fails to exert total influence over the nation.
While the nation has made progress in reducing child labour, it still ranks high, with Daily Outlook Afghanistan noting "According to estimates up to 30 percent of primary school age children are engaged in some form of work and are often the sole source of income for their families."
Despite making moderate advances in improving the situation of child labour laws in the country - chiefly creating child labour laws and increasing efforts to put children in school - Pakistan, according to the Department of Labour, "continues to lack sufficient legal protections for working children."
Children are still heavily involved in agricultural labour and are even forced into bonded labour.
Though Zimbabwe has created programs intended to help combat child labour, "the Government has not sufficiently funded these efforts," according to observations by the Department of Labour.
Education is also neither free or compulsory in the African nation, which has an effect. Child labour is heavily involved in agriculture and mining.
Wracked by what is essentially civil war for several years now, the government of Yemen appears to have simply either not had the time or not deemed child labour a big enough issue to combat child labour. Indeed, it would appear that the government has made no effect to stop the conscription of child soldiers into the armed forces, something replicated by the nations rebel forces.
One of the five poorest nations in the world, Burundi suffers from near constant conflict, extreme corruption, almost no access to education, and is racked with HIV/AIDS. Amongst all these problems, it doesn't come as a surprise that the country has done almost nothing to prevent child labour in the tiny, landlocked African nation.