Increasing crisis anxiety in the world has gained a new dimension with the announcement of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF … The International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF warned that millions of children may be dragged into child labor due to the COVID-19 crisis.
In the joint report of the two organizations, it was stated that for the first time an increase in child labor could be observed after the 20-year progress.
According to the information note entitled “COVID-19 and Child Labor: Time of Crisis, Time to Act”, there has been 94 million decreases in child labor since 2000, but it has been emphasized that this gain is at risk.
The report stated that children who are already working may be working for long hours or in conditions that are getting worse. Moreover, it was stated that they could be dragged into the worst forms of work that severely harm children’s health and safety.
“Because the global epidemic harms household income and families remain unsupported, many families can turn towards child labor,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “Social protection is vital in times of crisis because it helps the most vulnerable. The inclusion of the issue of child labor in education, social protection, justice, labor market policies, international human and labor rights makes a critical difference. ”
Information note “Due to COVID-19, there may be an increase in poverty, which can lead to an increase in child labor in households that will take all the paths to survive. According to some studies, a 1 percentage point increase in poverty in certain countries leads to at least 0.7 percent increase in child labor. is opening “statements were included.
“In times of crisis, child labor is becoming a coping mechanism for many families,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said. Fore, “As poverty increases, schools close and social services decrease, more children drift into labor. As we re-imagine the world after COVID-19, we need to ensure that children and their families have the tools they need to survive similar storms in the future. Qualified education, social protection services and better economic opportunities can be factors that change the course. ”
The following notes were included in the information note:
The vulnerable groups, such as those working in the informal economy and migrant workers, among other pressures, are the mass that will suffer the most from economic recession, increased informality and employment, general decline in living standards, shocks in healthcare, and inadequate social protection systems.
Evidence that child labor has increased during the global epidemic, when schools are closed, is slowly increasing. Temporary closure of schools affects more than 1 billion students in more than 130 countries. On the other hand, even if schools are reopened, many families may no longer be able to send their children to school.
The information note emphasized that as a result, more children may have to engage in exploitative and dangerous jobs. It was stated that gender inequalities could be aggravated and girls could become more vulnerable to exploitation, especially in agriculture and domestic services.
The memorandum also includes a number of measures to tackle the increased danger of child labor. These include more comprehensive social protection, easier access of poor households to credit, support for decent jobs for adults, measures to return children to school, elimination of school fees, job inspections and more resources to enforce laws.