South Africa: Ten Facts About Rising Child Labour Around the World

The United Nations says child labour is on the rise for the first time in 20 years

ADDIS ABABA - The United Nations says child labour is on the rise for the first time in 20 years, with millions more young people at risk of becoming child labourers due to the economic shocks and school closures caused by COVID-19.

Here are 10 facts about where and why child labour persists, ahead of Saturday's World Day Against Child Labour:

1. Every day, more than 5,700 children enter the child labour workforce for the first time.

2. An estimated 97 million boys and 63 million girls are child labourers.

3. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to most of the world's child labourers, with some 87 million, or 24%, of children in work, and little progress in ending SCRIchild labour in recent years.

4. Child labour is falling steadily in Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean, where about 6% of children work.

5. Agriculture is the most common sector for child labour, employing 112 million, or 70%, of working children, while 20% work in services and 10% in industry.

6. Almost three-quarters of child labour takes place within families and often due to poverty, the sudden illness of a caregiver, or job loss of a primary wage earner.

7. More than one-third of child labourers aged 5 to 17 are out of school, severely constraining their prospects for decent work and their overall life potential.

8. Child labour can result in extreme bodily and mental harm, and even death as children can be exposed to injuries, sexual and physical abuse and slavery.

9. Global progress against child labour has stalled for the first time in two decades and the COVID-19 crisis is likely to push a further 8.9 million children into child labour by the end of 2022 without action.

10. Solutions to reduce child labour include universal child benefits, getting children back into the classroom and promoting decent work for adults. Sources: International Labour Organization, U.N. Children's Fund.

(Editing by Katy Migiro)

This material has been funded by UK aid from the UK government; however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government's official policies.

More From: Thomson Reuters Foundation

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