Covid-19 increasing child labour

The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it. Their study shows, there is a strong correlation between child labour and situations of conflict and disaster.

Worldwide 218 million children between 5 and 17 years are in employment.
Among them, 152 million are victims of child labour. Almost half of them, 73 million, work in hazardous work areas.

Not all work that children do is exploitive. But child labor is generally defined as work that children are too young to do or that harms their health, slows their development or keeps them from school.


Awareness is increasing

In the past decade child labour has declined by nearly a third, thanks in part to global awareness. More child labourers are in agriculture than in any other sector. “Most work on their families’ farms, so it’s not always clear where to draw the line,” says International Labour Organization’s Yoshie Noguchi. But this year’s pandemic can change the curve in the wrong direction.

The pandemic forces children to work

The COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market shock are having a huge impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. Unfortunately, children are often the first to suffer. It might be too soon to see the immense consequences the pandemic will have worldwide, but it can be compared to other crisis situations like war.


Children ain conflict zones are hit the worst

In Afghanistan, years of armed conflict have fuelled poverty, and by extension, child labour. At least a quarter of Afghan children aged five to 14 work to support their families – often for long hours and with little or no pay. In Jordan 60% of the Syrian refugees rely on the earnings of the children.

“Kids shouldn’t have to sacrifice their health, safety, and education to help their families make ends meet. Governments should make it a top priority to provide education for children affected by war and disasters, and help their parents access decent work too,” says Susan Raqib from Human Rights Watch.

Picture from National Geographic

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Lindersvold is an international learning center that facilitates courses in community development and certification in non-traditional pedagogy. Our Center provides an opportunity to learn about the big issues of our time while preparing to assist community-driven projects in Zambia, Malawi or Mozambique. We believe in combining hands-on training with theoretical knowledge, alongside community living, gives students the best foundation for working with sustainable development and vulnerable youth.

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