Bonauli Simamora stands on a rickety fishing pier, staring at the waves slapping at the wooden beams below. With the sun’s rays beating down on his back, the 14-year-old hauls up a giant fishing net, careful not to lose his balance and fall into the ocean.
For the past nine months, Bonauli has worked 7 days a week, 10 hours a day. From sunrise to sunset, he labors on a pier that sits 10 miles off the coast of Indonesia.
“I work from 8 in the morning until 6 at night,” says Bonauli. “Every morning, I wake up, sort the fish, dry them, boil them, and put them into storage. Then I wait for the tide to go down and do it again.”
Bonauli is one of 120 million children worldwide, from ages 5 to 14, who work instead of going to school. Each day, nearly 80 million of these children risk their health, safety, and often their lives, to earn money.