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What are the five most shocking child labour pictures?

There are few images more shocking than seeing children in distress or, in this case, seeing them in a position of bondage with respect to labour. People's understanding of childhood is that it should be a time of happiness and carefree abandon. However, as this guide shows, this is not always the case. Disturbingly, it is often the most mundane pictures that can be the most shocking.

Child soldiers in Burundi

The civil war in Burundi between the Tutsi-led government and the Hutu rebels led to some of the most shocking images. One of them was a picture of a regiment of boy soldiers running in formation on a hill in Burundi as their adult recruiters look on them. The photo is by Clarence Williams.

Brick makers in Peru

A photo of a 13-year-old Miriam making bricks at a factory in Peru was particularly notable because of the presence in the background of Miriam's younger brother and sister watching her work. Pay is extremely low, and the International Labour Organisation is now involved in an effort to modernise brick production and to supply the child labourers with essential services and education. Nonetheless, child images of this nature remain deeply disturbing. The photo is by Ernesto Bazan.

Commonwealth workers in India

Before the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October 2010, photos were taken of young children working at the Olympic site in order to get it ready in time for the Games, thereby highlighting the problem of child labour in India. The images showed the children picking up stones and banging hammers. The photos are by M Kara.

Hard labour in Bangladesh

A series of images showing pre-teen children hard at work in Bangladesh caused a stir when it was released, particularly due to one of the children's hands which were shown to be hard and calloused from the labour. The International Labour Organisation says there are 4.9 million working children aged between 5-14 years in Bangladesh - A shocking of 14.2 percent of all children in that age group. The photograph of these photos is not known.

Garbage collectors in Cambodia

A startling picture of a young boy scrambling through a massive rubbish dump in Cambodia looked bad enough. However, when the photographer revealed that the boy and his family lived near the dump in order to collect rubbish as a form of labour, it shone a spotlight on the real plight suffered by Cambodia's child labourers. The photo is by Jon Warren.

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