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Last update: Jan 2012

Standard Module

MICS surveys have a standardized module for child labour


UNICEF collects data on child labour with the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), which include a module with questions on the type of work a child does and for how many hours. Data are collected on both economic activities (paid or unpaid work for someone who is not a member of the household, work for a family farm or business) and domestic work (household chores like cooking, cleaning or caring for children).

Definition of child labour

Age 511 years: At least 1 hour of economic work or 28 hours of domestic work per week.
Age 1214 years: At least 14 hours of economic work or 28 hours of domestic work per week.
Age 1517 years: At least 43 hours of economic or domestic work per week.


Some recent Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) have adopted the MICS module on child labour in its questionnaires. Many countries also produced national labour estimates and reports that often included data on child labour and/or employment among children.