Grueling work for little pay, that's the daily reality for millions of children across Africa.
The International Labour Organization estimates about 73 million children in Africa are sent out to work,
because of widespread poverty, insufficient access to education and conflict, some as young as five years old.
What were talking about is work that puts their future in jeopardy whether because their health is on the line.
They're working in mines, for example, where the imminent danger of a mine collapse or death.
Murtada Ai-Haj left school in Sudan when he was 12.
For him, it was a choice between studying or feeding his family.
My mother kept telling me in the future and when our life gets better and not get worse, I'll study and become a doctor.
But all of a sudden, the whole situation occurred in Sudan.
According to the ILO, 85 percent of Africa's child labourers work in agriculture.
Across all sectors, many are subject to back-breaking labor, long hours and exposure to dangerous environments.
Rights advocates say injuries are not the only problem.
There are other negative aspects because the childrens' self-esteem is low.
Because all the time he faces insults or has a low self-esteem.
Because all the time the factory's owner insults him, makes him feel that he is less than anyone.
So you are already bringing up a generation that has no self-confidence.
Experts say putting kids to work is no solution to extreme poverty.
They don't have the opportunity to get an education and learn those skills
that would enable them to get a decent job and become productive workers when they're older.
Several African governments including Ivory Coast, Mali, Rwanda and Nigeria have taken steps to address the worst form of child labor,
but it's not enough. Poverty and illiteracy and cultural belief, religious prejudices,
these are some of the reasons that actually affected, you know, the efficacy.
Major U.S. companies including Apple, Google, Hershey's and Nestle USA have come under fire
for allegedly failing to combat child labor in their supply chains.
The companies say they're committed to responsible sourcing that prohibits the use of child labor.
The UN's goal is to end child labour by 2025, an ambitious goal for our continent with the highest rates of child labor in the world.
Jesusemen Oni, VOA News Washington