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Child domestic work: Summary framing paper

November 16, 2021

This paper draws on evidence from research and practice to explore the causes and drivers of child domestic work and the key issues for practitioners and policy-makers.

Of the estimated 17 million child domestic workers globally, almost 70% are girls and over two-thirds are considered to be living and working in unacceptable conditions, with many experiencing discrimination, exploitation and abuse.

The paper explores child domestic work as a labour issue; as a relational practice involving family and kinship structures; as a strongly gendered issue, primarily affecting girls and young women; and as a contemporary form of slavery, arguing that many child domestic work situations can accurately be categorised as ‘modern slavery’.

It concludes by setting out a range of implications for interventions based on the evidence and learning to date, including the importance of a localised and context-specific analysis of the drivers and motivations, the need for meaningful participation of girls and young women, and the importance of engaging with employers and their families.

Read the full report here.

Photo credit: Katie Orlinsky, Legatum Limited, 2018

Written by
The Freedom Fund