The COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on the lives of people not only economically, but where employment is concerned too. While adults would manage to somehow survive, it might be a different scenario where children are concerned, as it could put millions of them at risk of underage labour. On June 12, which is World Day Against Child Labour, the focus is on the impact of crisis on child labour. Also Read - World Day Against Child Labour 2020: Where India Stands on Employing Children as Labourers
Accoriding to the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF, the COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat to the two decades of work that has been done to fight child labour. A joint ILO-UNICEF paper titled, COVID-19 and Child Labour: A Time of Crisis, a Time to Act, was released on June 12 that looks at some of the main channels through which the pandemic is likely to affect progress towards the eradication of child labour. Also Read - World Day Against Child Labour 2020: How You Can Protect Children From Child Labour
The paper stated that the current crisis could push millions of vulnerable children into child labour, and there are already an estimated 152 million children in child labour, 72 million of which are in hazardous work. It also stated that child labour emerged due to many factors such as poverty, lack of decent work opportunities for adults and adolescents, social norms condoning it, migration, and emergencies. Also Read - World Day Against Child Labour 2020: 10 Quotes That Perfectly Describe Children
The UNICEF in its agenda for action on COVID-19, called for global coordination to prevent a health crisis from becoming a child-rights crisis. It called for action on keeping children healthy and well nourished, providing vulnerable children with water, sanitation and hygiene, and providing learning opportunities. It also advocated helping families cover their needs and care for their children, and protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse.
With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this year World Day Against Child Labour 2020 is being conducted as a virtual campaign. It has been jointly organised by the Global March Against Child Labour and the International Partnership for Cooperation on Child Labour in Agriculture (IPCCLA).