Millions more children may have to work due to the pandemic

Des millions d'enfants supplémentaires risquent de devoir travailler en raison de la pandémie

The pandemic of the COVID-19 lead for the first time in twenty years to an overall increase in child labour, with millions of them in overtime, forced to work, warned the united nations on Friday.

According to a joint study by the united Nations children’s fund (Unicef) and the international labour Organization (ILO), the number of working children in the world has decreased from 94 million since 2000.

But “this gain is at risk today” because of the pandemic, prevent the agencies of the UN in a press release.

According to the study, which cites data from the world Bank, the number of people living in extreme poverty is expected to soar from 40 to 60 million this year because of the epidemic of COVID-19.

According to the latest ILO estimates for the period 2012-2016, 152 million children in the world were forced to work, and almost half of them, 73 million were doing hazardous work.

The crisis linked to the COVID-19 should lead to an increase in child labour as families find themselves obliged to have recourse to all the means to survive, fear the ILO and Unicef, according to which a rise in poverty leads to an increase in child labour.

“In times of crisis, the work of children becomes a coping mechanism for many families,” says Unicef executive director, Henrietta Fore, quoted in the press release.

“When poverty increases, schools are closed, and that the availability of social services is in decline, a greater number of children are pushed into the world of work,” she says.

While the pandemic may force millions of additional children have to work, others might see themselves forced to increase the number of hours or suffer a degradation of their working conditions.

“By the time the pandemic begins to shut down the income of families, many of them may resort to child labour if we do not come to help,” underlines the director general of the ILO, Guy Ryder, was quoted in the press release.

“In times of crisis, social protection is vital, as it allows you to come to the rescue of the most vulnerable”, he added.

The ILO and Unicef hope to publish new global estimates on child labour by 2021.

Share Button