Throughout the world, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), more than 218 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 are currently working to provide for themselves and their families. Child workers who are not enslaved or involved in prostitution are usually working in agriculture – often under great physical stress and at significant risk of contact with dangerous pesticides. In most cases, moreover, they remain illiterate. Preventing child labour requires effective laws – and education. Yet both are lacking in many of the countries where child labour occurs, countries in which the REWE Group, too, purchases raw materials. The risk of child labour is especially high in the production and processing of cocoa, coffee, cotton, fruits and vegetables, textiles and natural stone.