Among adults the term "child labor conjures up a particular image: children chained to looms in dark mills and sweatshops. In reality, children do a variety of work in widely divergent conditions. This work takes place along a continuum, from work that is beneficial, promoting or enhancing a child's development without interfering with schooling, recreation and rest to work that is simply destructive or exploitative. There are vast areas of activity between these two poles. It is at the most destructive end, where children are used as prostitutes or virtual slaves to repay debts incurred by their parents or grandparents or as workers in particularly hazardous conditions, that efforts are focused to stop such abuse.
The term "child labor generally refers to any economic activity performed by a person under the age of 15, defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO) of the United Nations. On the beneficial side of the continuum, there is "light work after school or legitimate apprenticeship opportunities, such as helping out in the family business or on the family farm. At the destructive end is employment that is
· Preventing effective school attendanc