For July, we are providing an account from our Good Shepherd Partners in Lebanon showing the ugly face of child labour. We read of the dire situation of families and their children and the work undertaken in collaboration with Wells of Hope in the Middle East in the fight to end human trafficking. Nayiri, a social worker, in creating awarenss of adult rights in relation to human trafficking encounters many children who are engaged in labour. She addresses some of the consequences in counselling session and by offering social support. It pains me everytime I read ‘that trafficking in children is a ‘worst form of child labour’. This is a way of sanitising the violence of child sexual abuse. It is not labour it is violence! As long as conflict continues, profiteers continue to violate human rights, and governments fails in their duty to protect the human rights of people, implement universal child benefits and social protection, people seeking to survive are targets of exploiters.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopted a resolution declaring 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, and has asked the International Labour Organization (ILO) to take the lead in its implementation.
The report of the Special Rapporteur – Ms. Urmila Bhoola – on contemporary forms of slavery, including its causes and consequences, is not available in the 6 languages of the United Nation. The report gives an overview of current legislative framework and definition. It then goes on to review the manifestations of child slavery, root causes, and the consequences for the child. Before making recommendations section VI outlines strategies to prevent and eliminate child slavery. The Special Rapporteur makes 30 Recommendations – most of them addressed to member states. Here are some facts and figures
- Worldwide 218 million children between 5 and 17 years are in employment.
Among them, 152 million are victims of child labour; almost half of them, 73 million, work in hazardous child labour.
- In absolute terms, almost half of child labour (72.1 million) is to be found in Africa; 62.1 million in the Asia and the Pacific; 10.7 million in the Americas; 1.2 million in the Arab States and 5.5 million in Europe and Central Asia.
- In terms of prevalence, 1 in 5 children in Africa (19.6%) are in child labour, whilst prevalence in other regions is between 3% and 7%: 2.9% in the Arab States (1 in 35 children); 4.1%in Europe and Central Asia (1 in 25); 5.3% in the Americas(1 in 19) and 7.4% in Asia and the Pacific region (1 in 14).
- Almost half of all 152 million children victims of child labour are aged 5-11 years.
42 million (28%) are 12-14 years old; and 37 million (24%) are 15-17 years old.
- Hazardous child labour is most prevalent among the 15-17 years old. Nevertheless up to a fourth of all hazardous child labour (19 million) is done by children less than 12 years old.
- Among 152 million children in child labour, 88 million are boys and 64 million are girls.
- 58% of all children in child labour and 62% of all children in hazardous work are boys. Boys appear to face a greater risk of child labour than girls, but this may also be a reflection of an under-reporting of girls’ work, particularly in domestic child labour.
- Child labour is concentrated primarily in agriculture (71%), which includes fishing, forestry, livestock herding and aquaculture, and comprises both subsistence and commercial farming; 17% in Services; and 12% in the Industrial sector, including mining. Taken from ILO
“Boys appear to be at greater risk of child labour than girls.” What do you think is the actual situation of girls? Check out our Position Paper on the Girl Child page 8