Middle East

In the year of ending child labor, Covid causes havoc

According to UN agencies, child labor has increased for the first time in 20 years, even before Covid-19 closed schools and fueled poverty around the world.
According to the United Nations, the number of child laborers has increased from 152 million in 2016 to 160 million in 2020, the fastest growing in Africa and already most of the world’s child laborers. Is living.
Many countries are taking important steps to crack down on the work of minors, but the government must double their efforts, said Benjamin, a child labor expert at the International Labor Organization (ILO). Smith said.
“Policymakers have taken a look to some extent. We need new focus, resources, and creative ideas,” Smith said.
“But there are a lot of headwinds,” he said, citing the lack of job creation and the challenge of promoting access to education in Africa.
He added that the private sector, trade unions and civil society groups should also play a greater role in helping to achieve the global goal of eradicating child labor by 2025.
However, lack of funding often hampers their initiative.
In Ituri, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it was the lack of financial support that ruined Augustine Bedillo’s efforts to combat child labor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s mines through grassroots charities.
Bedidjo creates cartoons translated into the local language and distributes them to parents, officials and miners to raise awareness of the dangers of the mining industry, which is considered by the United Nations to be one of the worst forms of child labor. I raised it.
His visual story highlights the dangers faced by children working in and around the mine, such as sexual abuse and slave labor, but raising enough money from donors to distribute the cartoons. The project is currently pending.
“As a local organization, we have ideas and initiatives, but … we don’t have the money to carry out our actions,” Bedillo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation over the phone.
He said the pandemic has drawn more children into mines in countries that produce metals such as gold and cobalt used in batteries for electric cars and smartphones, and many have been forced into labor or marriage. He said the risk was increasing.
“When the school was closed, the children who attended school were drawn into mining activities, and most of these children did not return … the impact is significant to this day,” he said. ..
Without urgent action, the United Nations says another 8.9 million children around the world will become child laborers by the end of 2022.
Joe Becker, Head of Children’s Rights at Human Rights Watch, said:
She urged the government to use the same strategies that made it possible to make breakthroughs in reducing child labor between 2000 and 2016 to reverse the effects of the pandemic.
“Three things have contributed to its success: increased access to children’s education, provision of cash or child allowances (monthly benefits) to families, and strong child labor that is effectively enforced. It’s a law, “she said.
The UN’s goal of ending child labor within four years, which critics have described as unrealistic and unrealistic, is cobalt as countries seek to reduce carbon emissions by shifting to electric vehicles. You may face additional pressure from the surge in demand for.
Demand for cobalt is expected to quadruple by 2030, with about 70% of the metal being produced in Congolese mines, sometimes by children in the large informal mining sector.
“The world is becoming more sustainable,” said Benafsha Delgado, Senior Program Manager at the United Nations Global Compact Network UK, which encourages businesses to adopt sustainable policies.
“But by default, that may mean we’re harming people, and more specifically children,” she said.
The surge in cobalt mining will lead to an increase in the number of children working in the mine, driving more girls into sexual exploitation at mining hubs, Delgado added.
According to a study by Save The Children Germany, a charity of more than 400 artisan miners and children in Luaraba, the southern Democratic Republic of the Congo, nearly one-third of children are out of school and six. One person was working. — Thomson Reuters Foundation

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/706772/In-the-year-to-end-child-labour-Covid-wreaks-havoc In the year of ending child labor, Covid causes havoc

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