The overarching global consensus is that poverty is the ‘cause’ of child labour. However, when exploring current data on child labour, we can only see that its occurrence is higher in lower economic quintiles, not that it is non-existent in higher economic quintiles. If poverty is the cause of child labour, then increasing household income would cause a decline in child labour; this is not the case.

Child labour is an extremely complex and historical social phenomenon and we therefore cannot reduce the cause to one factor, such as poverty.


At HACE, we challenge the traditional meaning of poverty by exploring what it really means for families. We have broken the concepts down into ten ‘basic needs’ factors.

These basic needs are the same for all people worldwide; no matter their age, gender or economic status. Everyone needs the same resources to survive and thrive.

HACE explores all secondary data on these factors using inter-governmental and governmental data sources. We collect, collate, estimate and analyse these data to identify which basic need is lacking in a specific context, and is driving child labour as a result.

Using a data-driven approach enables scalability; something that is rarely seen in the development sector. This is the case with child labour in particular, as it is a complex social issue that differs from locality, to good, to community. Using our innovative approach of a combination of Data Science, AI and Social Science, HACE can gain insights into the key drivers of child labour within a region, sub-region, good or sector.

HACE - What we do

Our aim is to provide analysis on the key drivers of child labour via easy-to-use dashboards, as well as recommendations of target areas for improvement. Decision-makers, in both the public and private sector, can then implement targeted policies and effectively allocate crucial resources to prevent the negative impact of child labour on children, families, national economies and companies.

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