Child labour violates children’s rights. And children’s rights are human rights.
2021 is the International Yeah for the Elimination of Child Labour. Although numbers have been decreasing, 152 million children are currently still in child labour. Since the beginning of the pandemic, incomes for many families around the globe have plummeted – with a devastating result: child labour has increased again in many countries. A new report from Human Rights Watch shows how children in Uganda, Ghana and Nepal are working under exploitative and dangerous conditions, suffering health damage and dropping out of school, all caused by increasing poverty. As Human Rights Watch demands: “Governments and donors should prioritize cash allowances to enable families to maintain an adequate standard of living without resorting to child labor.”
The report “I Must Work to Eat” analyses the increased child labour in Ghana, Nepal and Uganda in connection with the increased poverty caused by Covid-19. In the report, researchers addressed the rise in child labor and poverty in the last year as well as the pandemic’s impact on children’s rights. In addition, children described working under hazardous conditions, some even being exposed to violence, harassment and pay theft.
According to the United Nations
- 152 million children between the ages of 5-17 were in child labour, almost half them, 73 million, in hazardous child labour.
- Almost half (48%) of the victims of child labour were aged 5-11; 28% were 12-14 years old; and 24% were 15-17 years old.
- Child labour is concentrated primarily in agriculture (71%) – this includes fishing, forestry, livestock herding and aquaculture – 17% in services; and 12% in the industrial sector, including mining.
You can find more details published by the United Nations here.