Global Child Labor 2010 – 2021

During this holiday season, we are stuck by materialistic purchases such as toys, electronics, makeup, etc. But where do many of these items come from or how is it made? Many of us tend to overlook the origin of consumer goods but in this project, I illustrate where your goods are truly coming from. This paper is an elaboration of the data visualization showcasing the brainstorming process, technical/creative process, feedback, and issues that arose when finishing this project. 

When starting this project I knew I wanted to choose a topic that is often overlooked and does not have the recognition it deserves. Therefore, I chose the topic of child labor. Initially wanting to incorporate numerous data sets from UNICEF, such as children with or without education, proper home conditions, etc I chose not. This is because that deserves it’s own main focus and not to be supplemental data for this project. Illustrating the amount of hazardous work, the population between gender in employment, global economic activity, and average working hours of children is how I chose to derive this important topic of Global Child Labor.  

With knowing this preliminary knowledge, I wanted to be challenged and try to exceed all of my other visualizations, by incorporating humanistic qualities with this data for public view. I chose to display these humanistic qualities by incorporating icons of people to aid in the representation of this data. The technical term for this visualization is called “filled shapes” to display a bar chart underneath the icons. Needless to say, this was my first time attempting a large-scale data project, as well as stepping outside of my comfort zone- but in the end, it was all worth it. 

Initially wanting there to be a “poster” of this data I felt as if there was not enough room for all of the important information I gained and wanted to show. This is why I chose the “storyboard” process making sure that individuals can fully incorporate and visualize all data that I illustrated. Since this is a striking and important topic I wanted to choose colors that symbolize it. The background color is a striking dark gray and orange-red hues being the accent color, indicating the blood the children have shed for our goods. The only vibrant colors which are represented in blue and pink are the genders of children working. Choosing not to use an orange-red hue, was intentional for the individual to feel a connection towards this visualization.

The feedback that I received on this project was great in that the participants were shocked to see how much truly goes on in the world we live in. With important comments such as, “The numbers seem less than what they should be!” to “The bar chart is not as visible here, maybe we should move it up more?”. These comments did not only aid me as a data analyst but as a visionary. Since then I was able to fix common mistakes that I have made and hopefully will not overlook in the future. 

While doing this final project, I struck many vital issues that I incorporated into this visualization. The biggest issue is the discrepancy of data, many well-known countries had either no data or significantly less data than you would think. For example, China, the United States of America, and many more well-known countries did not disclose their data. While India did but the data did not align with the country’s current working conditions. With there being no data for numerous countries it begs the question- “What are they hiding?”.

This project is and always will be a work in progress, with new data coming out I will try to update this in the future. My hope for this project is to share not only the difficulties children have but the lack of significant data and initiative that we need to move on, globally.

Data Set Linked Here: