Today is World Day Against Child Labour. The day held every year on June 12, is intended to foster the worldwide movement against child labour in any of its forms.
We know the entire world is witnessing COVID-19 pandemic which has disrupted people’s lives and livelihoods. The economies of most countries have been badly affected. In such a scenario, the chances of the working conditions of child labourers deteriorating are high.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are about 152 million children globally who are engaged in child labour, 72 million of whom are in hazardous work. With the pandemic set to lead the world into a recession, these children are now at an even greater risk of facing circumstances even more difficult and working longer hours.
Considering the current circumstances, theme for this year is, “COVID-19 – Protect children from child labour now, more than ever”. On the occasion of the World Day, a joint ILO-UNICEF paper entitled “COVID-19 and child labour: A time of crisis, a time to act” has been released. The paper looks at some of the main ways through which the pandemic is likely to affect progress towards the eradication of child labour.