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Coronavirus puts 9M additional children at risk of being pushed into workforce by 2022 end, says UN report…

The number of children in child labor has climbed to 160 million worldwide, according to a new report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF on Thursday.

The figure posted an increase of 8.4 million in the last four years, said the report released ahead of World Day Against Child Labor on June 12.

“….the progress to end child labor has stalled for the first time in 20 years, reversing the previous downward trend that saw child labor fall by 94 million between 2000 and 2016,” it said.

Pointing to the sharp rise in the number of children aged 5 to 11 years in child labor, the report said 79 million children aged 5 to 17 years are in hazardous work – work that is likely to harm their health, safety, or morals – up by 6.5 million since 2016.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said, “this is a time for renewed commitment and energy, to turn the corner and break the cycle of poverty and child labor.”

The report warned that the coronavirus pandemic put nine million additional children at risk of being pushed into child labor by the end of 2022.

According to a simulation model, this figure may reach 46 million if they do not have access to critical social protection coverage.

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore urged governments and international development banks to prioritize investments in programs that can get children out of the workforce and back into school, and in social protection programs that can help families avoid making this choice in the first place.


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