Child marriage, child labour, and trafficking are some of the biggest issues facing girls in Asia. One in nine girls will marry before they turn 15, and millions of children are being trafficked into sex exploitation and forced to work each year.

Exploitation robs children of their dignity, their rights, their future and, too often, their lives.

While the causes of exploitation of girls are complex and varied, the devastating impact is the same. Exploitation affects their health, interrupts their education and prevents them from reaching their potential and fulfilling their dreams. 

Girls in early marriage face a higher risk of maternal death with early pregnancy being the leading cause of death for 15-19 year old girls in developing countries. A child who drops out of school to work at the age of 12, will most likely earn 60% less over their lifetime compared to a child who finishes high school. 

Beyond inflicted physical harm, girls in child marriage, child labour and trafficking will experience emotional and mental trauma, which can last into adolescence and adulthood. 

children are trafficked each year. More than two-thirds are girls.
girls are married each year before they reach 18.
children are in child labour around the world.

In partnership with The New Zealand Herald, we are on a mission to transform the lives of girls facing exploitation in Asia by highlighting and sharing their stories. 

Kerre McIvor is one of New Zealand’s most loved broadcasters and travelled with us to India and Myanmar to see first hand the devastating impact that exploitation has on young girls’ lives.  

She met with girls who were either working as child labourers, married off before they were ready, or had been trafficked and forced into the sex industry. “The most heart-wrenching moment for me was seeing a 14-year-old girl who didn’t even dare to dream, who was working 14 hours a day” Kerre reflected.

Step inside a child brides world in our ground-breaking virtual reality film

Step inside a child brides world in our ground-breaking virtual reality film

See first-hand the devastating impact of child marriage and child labour in this powerful and immersive film. 

The View from the Mountain, tells the story of a young girl in rural Nepal reconnecting with her best friend who has lost hope after her arranged marriage ended in abuse and abandonment.  

To experience this film in virtual reality, order your free VR Viewer today.

World Vision is committed to working with children to hear their voices and working with communities to challenge attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that accept violence, abuse and exploitation against girls.

Hnin's horror: A real life story of slavery and abuse

"I realised I'd been sold. For the next three years, I would be enslaved."

We are working with communities to:

We are working with communities to:
Educate girls and their families to understand their rights; and how to prevent child marriage, child labour, and sex trafficking.

Keep girls in school, so they can receive a full education giving them more opportunities for the future.

Keep girls safe, by teaching them how to avoid risks and ensuring they know where to go for advice and support.

Stop child trafficking across borders and provide legal aid to help girls fight their persecutors in court.

Help girls affected by exploitation, by providing counselling and skills training to help them overcome their trauma and earn their own income.

“The work that World Vision is doing is meaningful and pragmatic, it’s not condescending or patronising, it is just enabling mums and dads to do the best thing for their children”

– Kerre McIvor


There are different legal ages for marriage in different countries, but World Vision defines a child as under 18. Many countries have a legal age for marriage of 18 but have exceptions (e.g. you can marry from 16 in NZ with your parents’ permission) or the law is not adequately enforced.
Not all work done by children is defined as child labour. Child labour is often defined as: work that deprives children of their childhood, potential or dignity, or that is mentally or physically harmful. 
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Human trafficking is the harbouring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labour or services, by force, fraud, or coercion for subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt, bondage, slavery.  

World Vision defines a child as a person under 18.
Your donation today will help protect girls in Asia from exploitation