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World aims to end child labour by 2025

Young boys working in the fields in Semonkong


May 25, 2021 2 min read

2 min read


THE onset of the COVID-19 is also expected to increase the level of child labour and the temporary school closures during the pandemic have affected more children over communities, resulting in learning deficits for students, particularly from poor rural households, a UNICEF 2020 study shows.

The study further projects that 1% rise in poverty can lead to at least 0.7% increase in child labour.

Child labour is exacerbated by crisis situations arising from conflicts and human-made or natural disasters, while there are key drivers of child labour, which include among others; rising household poverty, low and uncertain income and unemployment, lack or no access to health and traditions and socio-cultural norms.

The year 2021 has been designated as the International Year of the Elimination of Child Labour and it is to re-double collective efforts, renew international commitments and scale up actions to consign child labour into history.

The European Union (EU) is firmly committed to achieving the SDG target 8.7 - ending child labour in all forms by 2025.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would compromise possible improvements; EU together with its partners intends to raise awareness on the importance of the persistence of child labour.

The EU says child labour is a serious violation of human rights and right to education, adding it is important to remember that not all work done by children can be classified as child labour.

The body also says child labour is complex issue with deep political and socio-economic roots, noting that when addressing these problems, one needs to develop a holistic and comprehensive approach, recognising that child labour is both a cause and consequence of poverty, inequality, discrimination, social exclusion and lack of access to education.


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The International Labour Organisation (ILO) defines child labour as the work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity, that is harmful to their physical and mental development.

EU further says, to end child labour, it promotes access to quality and inclusive education by reaching out to marginalised children and those in vulnerable situations.

It also supports local governments, public service providers, and other relevant stakeholders to take effective action to combat child labour, also supporting the programmes of international organisations.

The EU works together with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) to eliminate child labour and forced labour in all their forms.

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