“Child Labour: Global estimates 2020” report released by ILO

What is the news?

“Child Labour: Global estimates 2020, trends and the road forward” report has been released by International Labour Organization and UNICEF.

What is Child labour?

As per ILO,

Child labour is defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to their physical and mental development.

It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children. Or the work schedule that interferes with their ability to attend regular school or work that affects in any manner their ability to focus during school or experience healthy childhood.

What is not Child labour?

Children or adolescents who participate in work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling is not child labour. Such work includes activities such as helping their parents at home, assisting family or earning pocket money outside school hours and on holidays.

Key Findings of the Child Labour: Global estimates 2020 report

Overall gist: The report warns that progress to end child labour has stalled for the first time in 20 years. It has reversed the previous downward trend that saw it fall by 94 million between 2000 and 2016.

  • The number of children in child labour has risen to 160 million worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years.
  • Covid-19 Impact: Globally, 9 million additional children are at risk of being pushed into child labour by the end of 2022 as a result of the pandemic.
  • Sectors: The agriculture sector accounts for 70% of children in child labor (112 million) followed by 20% in services (31.4 million) and 10% in industry (16.5 million).
  • Age Group: Nearly 28% of children aged 5 to 11 years and 35% of children aged 12 to 14 years in child labour are out of school.
  • Gender: Child labor is more prevalent among boys than girls at every age. But the gap narrows when household chores performed for at least 21 hours per week are taken into account.
  • Rural vs Urban: The prevalence of child labor in rural areas (14%) is close to three times higher than in urban areas (5%).
Also read: World day against Child labour
Recommendations of Child Labour: Global estimates 2020 report
  • Adequate social protection for all, including universal child benefits.
  • Increased spending on quality education and getting all children back into school – including children who were out of school before COVID-19.
  • Promotion of decent work for adults, so families don’t have to resort to children helping to generate family income.
  • An end to harmful gender norms and discrimination that influence child labor.
  • Investment in child protection systems, agricultural development, rural public services, infrastructure and livelihoods.
Child labour in India
  • As per Census 2011, the total child population in India in the age group 5-14 years is 259.6 million.
  • Among them, over 10 million (4% of total child population) are working either as ‘main worker’ or ‘marginal worker’.
  • The Census data indicates the decreased incidence of child labour in India by 2.6 million between 2001 and 2011.
  • Moreover, there is a greater decline in rural than in urban areas. This is because an increase in rural-to-urban migration is driving demand for child workers in urban areas.

Source: India Today

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