Many Families Will Resort to Child Labour Over COVID-19 Pandemic- UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says many families will resort to child labour as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to wreak havoc globally.

Mr Mark Hereward, UNICEF’s Associate Director, Data and Analytics, Division of Data, Analytics, Planning and Monitoring, made this known in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

Hereward spoke in commemoration of the World Day Against Child Labour marked annually on June 12.

He said that a new report from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UNICEF showed that we might see an increase in child labour for the first time in 20 years.

“Over the last two decades, the number of children engaged in child labour fell by 94 million worldwide; this remarkable progress is now under threat.

“The report discusses the main channels through which the current pandemic can increase child labour, including declines in living standards and deteriorating employment opportunities.

“Also, reduction in remittances and migration, as well as pressure on public budgets and international aid flows,” he said.

The director said that the final outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic would be largely determined by the policies adopted.

He said, therefore, it was essential to identify the possible short- and long-term impact of the crisis to design policies and programmes to prevent and eliminate child labour.

“This is a critical moment for the entire world.

“To mitigate the impact of COVID-19, now and for the foreseeable future, upholding children’s rights as well as fundamental workplace principles and rights has never been more urgent,” Hereward said.


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