While the short-term impact of the Coronavirus has already been felt, very soon, the long-term effects are going to settle in. One massive effect is likely to be child labor. As per the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF, due to the economic slowdown, million more children are at the risk of being pushed into child labor.
ILO & UNICEF speak on the issue
Talking about the issue, both the bodies stated: “Millions of more children risk being pushed into child labor as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, which could lead to the first rise in child labor after 20 years of progress.”
Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, said: “As the pandemic wreaks havoc on family incomes, without support, many could resort to child labor.”
Poverty linked to Child Labor
It is said that the cycle of child labor is directly linked to poverty. Studies show that a one percentage point rise in poverty leads to at least a 0.7 percent increase in child labor in certain countries. Reports have now revealed that extreme poverty could soar by 40 million to 60 million this year alone compared to before the crisis.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said: “As poverty rises, schools close and the availability of social services decreases, more children are pushed into the workforce. As we re-imagine the world post-COVID, we need to make sure that children and their families have the tools they need to weather similar storms in the future. Quality education, social protection services, and better economic opportunities can be game-changers.”
ILO-UNICEF also suggested ways to tackle the issue. It said that the best way would be introducing more comprehensive social protection, easier access to credit for poor households, the promotion of decent work for adults, measures to get children back into school, including the elimination of school fees, and more resources for labor inspections and law enforcement.
Source: Free Press Journal