A report released by the International Labor Organization (ILO) on the eve of World Day Against Child Labour on 12th June with the collaboration of UNICEF, thousands of children around the world are being forced to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has also led to the rise in cases of child labour. This is quite shocking as the whole world has made progress in the past two decades.
However, in India, child labour has been categorized into three sectors: Agriculture; Domestic workers, industrial sectors with an average of 71%, 17%, 12%, respectively. As a result, it has harmed the health, education and social security of children.
Expressing grave concern, “The children working in India in toy factories, but they were beaten up if they try to play with those toys in the factory,” said Kailash Satyarthi, a Nobel Peace Laureate and Indian social activist of children in an event hosted by ILO recently.
He further mentioned, “During this pandemic, our children are in danger, and we need much bolder steps and laws to safeguard the social security and ensure that our children go back to school for quality education.”
One of the major reasons for the rise in cases of child labour is the rise in poverty due to the pandemic. Many households have lost their livelihood, and to survive, they have used every possible means. According to some studies, a one per cent rise in poverty has led to a 0.7% rise in child labour cases in some countries.
The fallout of COVID-19 is putting millions of children at risk. It was estimated that by the end of 2022, around nine million children would be on the verge of being pushed to child labour across the world. Moreover, to avoid this violation of Child Rights, ILO and UNICEF are calling world leaders to support vulnerable families by providing the children of these families free schooling and enforcing laws against child labour.