COVID-19 AND CHILD LABOUR: A Time Of Crisis, A Time To Act

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and International Labour Organization (ILO) has released a report titled “COVID-19 AND CHILD LABOUR: A Time Of Crisis, A Time To Act”. The report tells about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on child labour. The report indicates that COVID-19 could result in a rise in poverty and hence leading to an increase in child labour as households will use every available measure to survive. It states that the scenario of poverty rises, schools closure as well as the availability of social services decreases, more children would be pushed into the workforce.

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About United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):

United Nations Children’s Fund was formed on 11 December 1946. It works in over 190 countries and territories with prime objective to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. It works to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. Presently Henrietta H. Fore is the Executive Director of UNICEF.

About International Labour Organization (ILO):

International Labour Organization was created in 1919. The organisation is presently headed by Guy Ryder who is serving as Director-General of the ILO. ILO is devoted to promote social justice and internationally recognizes human and labour rights, going parallely along its founding mission “social justice is essential to universal and lasting peace”. It unites governments, employers as well as workers representatives of 187 member States, to frame labour standards, create policies and make programmes to promote decent work for all women and men.

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COVID-19 AND CHILD LABOUR: A Time Of Crisis, A Time To Act:

The report titled “COVID-19 AND CHILD LABOUR: A Time Of Crisis, A Time To Act” has been released jointly by ILO & UNICEF. It analyses the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on child labour.

Highlights of the report:

  • The report states that COVID-19 crisis could lead to the first rise in child labour after 20 years of progress.
  • Millions of more children could be pushed into child labour as a result of the COVID-19 crisis due to rise in poverty.
  • Due to temporary school closures, households may look for new ways to allocate children’s time, leading to child labour.
  • Due to losses in household income, children’s contribution financially can intensify.
  • Those children who are already working may do so for longer hours or under worsening conditions.
  • Decreasing working capital from losses in remittances and business failures will continue reducing demand for workers, lower wages and eliminate jobs.
  • The report indicates that the number of people in extreme poverty could jump from 40 million to 60 million this year alone as compared to before the crisis.
  • Poverty results in child labour as households use every available means to survive. Report states that 1 percentage point rise in poverty results into at least a 0.7 percentage point increase in child labour.

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