COVID-19 may push millions of more children into child labor — ILO and UNICEF
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New York, Geneva, Jun 13 (Canadian-Media): Millions of more children risk being pushed into child labor as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, which could lead to the first rise in child labor after 20 years of progress, according to a new brief from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF, ILO reports said.
Image credit: © Sonali Pal Chaudhury / NurPhoto via AFP
According to COVID-19 and child labour: A time of crisis, a time to act , child labor decreased by 94 million since 2000, but that gain is now at risk.
Global estimates in 2017 showed that 152 million children were in child labor worldwide.
Children already in child labor may be working longer hours or under worsening conditions, the report says. More of them may be forced into the worst forms of labor, which causes significant harm to their health and safety.
“As the pandemic wreaks havoc on family incomes, without support, many could resort to child labour,” said Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
“As the pandemic wreaks havoc on family incomes, without support, many could resort to child labour,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder. “Social protection is vital in times of crisis, as it provides assistance to those who are most vulnerable. Integrating child labor concerns across broader policies for education, social protection, justice, labor markets, and international human and labor rights makes a critical difference.”
According to the brief, COVID-19 could result in a rise in poverty and therefore to an increase in child labor as households use every available means to survive. Some studies show that a one percentage point rise in poverty leads to at least a 0.7 percent increase in child labor in certain countries.
“In times of crisis, child labour becomes a coping mechanism for many families,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “As poverty rises, schools close and the availability of social services decreases, more children are pushed into the workforce. As we re-imagine the world post-COVID, we need to make sure that children and their families have…