At least 10 million children, most of them girls, are trapped in domestic labor jobs where they work long hours for little pay and often face abuse, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said on Friday.
The UN agency called in a report for an end to the most exploitative forms of child domestic labor such as slavery and trafficking of youths, some as young as 10 years old.
Some two million children under the age of 15 are household domestic servants in South Africa and 700,000 work in Jakarta, Indonesia, according to the report.
"They work in isolation and are subject to verbal, physical, emotional and, in some cases, sexual abuse. They are deprived of an education and training, so that their longer-term future is also blighted," said the ILO's Frans Roselaers.
The study was issued to mark the annual World Day Against Child Labor, observed on June 12 for the third year.
Separately, the New York-based Human Rights Watch group said its own investigations in West Africa, Central America and Asia had found girls as young as eight working 15 or more hours a day, seven days a week for little or no pay.
"Instead of turning a blind eye to the dangers of this kind of work, governments need to take steps to ban it," it said.
(China Daily via agencies, June 11, 2004)