Millions of children face the need to work because of the pandemic of young coronavirus, while the world recorded an increase in minors working for the first time in two decades, as the UN warned yesterday Thursday.
A joint report by the International Labor Organization and UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, estimates that at the beginning of 2020 there were 160 million children forced to work, 8.4 million more than , what four years earlier.
If current forecasts of global poverty increase are verified, another nine million children will be forced to take the road to work by the end of next year, is added to the report, as broadcast by AMPE.
But statistical models suggest that number could be more than fivefold, warns Claudia Capa, a UNICEF statistician who co-authored the report.
“If social protection is reduced compared to the current level, due to austerity measures and other factors, the number of children forced to work could increase by 46 million by the end of 2022,” she said. Kappa at the French Agency.
The report, published every four years, highlights that half of working children is only five to eight years old.
The upward trend, which manifested itself before the pandemic even paralyzed the global economy, is a turning point in relation to the 96 million reduction in child labor between 2000 and 2016.
As the health crisis spread throughout the world, almost one in ten children was forced to work. The UN warns that the situation is in real danger of deteriorating further if nothing is done to help poverty-stricken families.
Child labor: Ground is lost
“We are losing ground in the fight against it of child labor and last year did not make things easier, “said Henrietta For, UNICEF chief.
He added: “As we enter the second year of restrictive measures, school closures, economic earthquakes and shrinking national budgets, families are being forced to make heartbreaking choices.”
The phenomenon affects boys more, which numbered 97 of the 160 million children working at the beginning of 2020.
Even more worrying is the increase in the number of children between the ages of five and seventeen who do dangerous work, heavy and unhealthy, which can cause irreparable damage to their development, their health, their education.
This category includes sectors such as mining and quarrying, or fisheries. Some children work more than 43 hours a week, which makes it impossible for them to attend school.
In early 2020, the International Labor Organization and UNICEF estimate that 79 million children did this kind of work, in other words 6.5 million more than four years earlier.
The vast majority (70%, or 112 million) of children work in the agricultural sector, while 20% are employed in the service sector and 10% in industry.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the region of the world with the largest increase in working children. It was 16.6 million more at the beginning of last year than in 2016.
“These new assessments are a wake-up call,” said Guy Ryder, head of the International Labor Organization, calling for an “end to the cycle of poverty and child labor.”