Expert warns about rising tide of child labour across globe

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the globe has seen a rise in the use of child workers, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned on the eve of Sunday, June 12, World Day Against Child Labour.

ILO figures from numerous countries indicate a rising trend in child labour in the post-pandemic period due to worsening economic conditions, Benjamin Smith, the organisation’s senior officer on child labour, told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.

Before the pandemic, there were some 160 million child labourers globally, Smith said, but 9 million more children might join the ranks of labourers by the end of this year.

Underscoring that child labourers are generally found in the informal economy, he said the children’s poor financial situation plays an important role in this situation.

Also read: ‘Child labour graph went up during the pandemic’

Most of the child labourers, around 70%, are employed in the agricultural sector, he said.

According to a joint report by the ILO and UNICEF, around half of the 160 million child labourers, aged 5-17, are employed in hazardous work.

Since 2008, the Asia-Pacific, South America, and Caribbean regions made stable progress in reducing the number of child labourers while the situation in Africa grew even worse.

To promote awareness of the issue, since 2002 the ILO has marked June 12 as World Day Against Child Labour.

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