Geneva (The Times Groupe)- Child labor has surged since the COVID19 pandemic, the International Labor Organization (ILO) warned on the eve of Sunday, June 12, World Day Against Child Labor.
According to Benjamin Smith, ILO’s senior officer on child labor, data from several countries shows an increase in child labor during the post-pandemic period because of worsening economic conditions.
Smith said there were 160 million child laborers before the pandemic, but 9 million more children may join them by year’s end.
Considering that child laborers are generally found in the informal economy, he said that their poor financial situation plays an important role.
Around 70% of child laborers work in the agricultural sector, he said.
Approximately half of 160 million child laborers aged 5-17 are employed in hazardous work, according to a joint report by the ILO and UNICEF.
In Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Caribbean, child labor has steadily declined since 2008, while the situation in Africa has deteriorated.
Since 2002, the International Labour Organization has marked June 12 as World Day Against Child Labor. Child labour