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1.6 million Egyptian children work, activists worry number will grow

Khalil Hamra / AP

An Egyptian child stands in front of a tire repair shop where he works in Cairo, Egypt. Photo taken on Oct. 2.

Khalil Hamra / AP

An Egyptian girl fills water containers at a pottery workshop in old Cairo. Photo taken on Oct. 18.

The Egyptian government estimates that 1.6 million minors work - almost 10 percent of the population aged 17 or under. Other experts put the number at nearly twice that.

Some child labor activists worry that protections for children could be loosened further under the new constitution still being written. Earlier this month, the Egyptian Coalition for Children's Rights warned that early drafts of the document did not include as firm prohibitions on child labor as past constitutions.

Khalil Hamra / AP

An Egyptian child helps his father to load a donkey cart with hay in a farm at the outskirts of Qalyobiya, 27 miles north of Cairo, Egypt. Photo captured on Oct. 17.

Khalil Hamra / AP

An Egyptian child loads a cart with cement bricks in a brick factory at the outskirts of Qalyobiya, 27 miles north of Cairo.

Khalil Hamra / AP

An Egyptian child carries a clay roof tile in a pottery workshop in old Cairo. Photo captured on Oct. 18.

Khalil Hamra / AP

An Egyptian child takes a tea break during his work at a mechanics workshop in Cairo, Egypt. Photo captured Oct. 4.