Having declined steadily over the past two decades, in 2020 child labor is on the rise again, warn the International Labor Organization and UNICEF in a joint report.
In recent years, more and more 5-11 year olds are entering the labor market
Around the world, 160 million children are working. Their number has also increased by 8.4 million between 2016 and 2020, warn the International Labor Organization and UNICEF in a joint report, on the eve of the World Day against Child Labor, on the 12th. June. ” Progress in ending child labor stalls for the first time in two decades, reversing the previous downward trend that saw child labor decline by 94 million between 2000 and 2016 Can we read in this report.
UNICEF also reports a significant increase in the number of children aged 5 to 11 forced to work. In 2020, of the 160 working children, 89.3 million were in the 5-11 age group, 35.6 million in the 12-14 age group and 35 million in the 15-17 age group.
Sub-Saharan Africa: 6.5 million additional minor workers in four years
Another worrying trend, the number of children between the ages of 5 and 17 who perform hazardous work – defined as work that could adversely affect their health, safety or moral development – has increased by 6.5 million since 2016 to reach 79 million.
The region where the ranks of working children have grown the most is sub-Saharan Africa: +16.6 million between 2016 and 2020. In this region of the world, all the factors likely to push children to work are present: population growth , recurrent crises, extreme poverty and inadequate social protection measures. Globally, 9 million more children at risk of being pushed into labor by end of 2022 due to pandemic, say the authors of the report. If these children do not have access to adequate social protection coverage, the number could even reach 46 million.