Yesterday June12th was World Day for Child Labour and most countries of the world celebrated this scientific day amid corona virus pandemic.
The WDACL was marked in 2002 when International Labour Organization sanctioned it as a way of protecting children from hazardous labour activities such as wars, mining, fishing, sexual harassments, manufacturing and other forms of labour harmful to their lives and that violates their rights.
This year’s global WDACL was themed on: “Protecting Children Against Child Labour, Now more than ever!”
Globally, there are over 152millions children involved in child labour, 72m of whom are in hazardous labour. These include children between the age of 5-17years.
The prevailing effects of COVID-19 have been cited as having negative impacts on the lives of children involved in child labour forces across the world.
Children are involved in manufacturing works, mining, sex activities, hard house chores, others are turned into beggars at a young age which is against their will and violates their rights.
In China and India, mist of the young children are used in Manufacturing industries working for longer hours while in most of the AfroAsian states, they are made street beggars, forced into early marriages and other sexual harassment forms to mention but a few.
Orphanage, Domestic violence, school dropouts, poverty, weak government policies to protect children against child labour have been cited as primary causes of increased cases of child labour globally.
According to the new brief from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UNICEF titled ‘COVID-19 and child labour: A time of crisis, a time to act’ released on Friday, child labour decreased by 94 million since 2000, but that gain is now at risk.
Other key sources for the construction of the index include, the International Labor Organisation, the UN, The US Department of Labor, the US State Department, the World Bank and others. Below are states with increased cases of child labour across the globe.
Around 1,012,863 children, 39.8% of children between the ages of 5 to 14, are child labourers in Somalia. Children are hired as labor for fishing, threshing grain, and livestock raising. Construction and mining industries also use children as part of the workforce. Children are also seen begging on the streets, hawking, and minibus conducting. They are also engaged in armed conflicts, illegal and anti-national activities. Human trafficking of children is also prevalent. Abject poverty in Somalia often forces parents to give up their children to work as labourers.
Nearly 13% of Pakistani children accounting for 2,449,480 individuals between the ages of 10 to 14 are child labourers. 76% of these children work in the agricultural sector involving activities like working in crop fields, fishing and shrimp harvesting and processing. A large number of children are also engaged in restaurants, tea stalls, transportation, and garbage scavenging. As per ILO, poverty is the single major factor responsible for the high prevalence of child labor in the country.
Nigeria suffers from severe poverty leading to a large number of cases of child labor. Data from ILO reveals that over 15 million children in the country below the age of 14 are child labourers. Girls are primarily employed as domestic helps in households and boys and girls alike are also hired to do agricultural work, street hawking & begging, mining and construction work, shoe shining, car washing, auto repair, conducting minibuses, and numerous other activities.
Around 1.5 million children between the ages of 10 to 17 are forced to work as labourers in Myanmar. The agricultural sector in the country employs the largest number of children while construction and small-scale industries also involve children as part of their workforce. Once again, poverty is the main reason behind children being engaged in labor.
358,179 children in Liberia are labourers, which constitutes over 30% of the country’s total child population. Children are involved in agriculture jobs which exposes them to hazardous working conditions. The country’s lack of labor laws is the main cause behind this. Severe poverty and inefficient justice system are also to blame.
The world’s second most populated country, India, has as many as 33 million child labourers. Children work in mines, on farms, and in garment factories. Although the economy of the country has grown over the past several decades, not everyone in the population has benefited evenly. Despite legislative efforts, the number of child workers has increased in recent years especially in big cities.
Underage working remains a problem in Ethiopia despite government efforts to curb it. 41.5% of the country’s population aged between 7 and 14 are engaged in child labour. Children from underdeveloped regions of the country are forced into areas of work such as shoe shining, vending, mining, and even unpaid labor.
3. The Democratic Republic of the Congo
3,327,806 children in the country are child laborers working in various sectors like agriculture, industry and services. Children are also often forced to work in gold, wolframite, and coltan mines. They are hindered from going to school, and are also forcibly recruited into armed forces while attending schools. Sexual exploitation of children is also common. Inability to produce valid birth certificates and proof of citizenship sometimes leaves children with no choice but to enter the labor markets to make money for their poor families.
Children are mostly engaged in agricultural work in Chad. Some children in the country may be sold or trafficked against their will to work in areas of the country related to oil production. It is not unheard of for children to be forced to become soldiers. UNICEF data reveals that more than half of the country’s children is said to be working.
Children work in garment factories, farming, and in various types of manufacturing. But the exact nature of their employment is hard to track as it is informal. Poverty is the main cause of underaged work in Bangladesh. Being susceptible to climate change, despite there being some legislation in place in Bangladesh to protect children, the country will have challenges ahead.
There are other many countries affected by Child labour forces, however these have been found with leading cases.
Child labour affects both boys and girls and everyone is astakeholder in ensuring their rights are protected.
Let’s stand Against all forms of Chd Labour in all countries of the world.