The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

One in ten children is subject to child labor worldwide

On the advent of the World Day Against Child Labor:

June 12 is the World Day against Child Labor, which is marked worldwide. Nearly 1 in 10 children are subject to child labor worldwide, with some forced into hazardous work through trafficking. Economic hardship exacts a toll on millions of families worldwide – and in some places, it comes at the price of a child’s safety, said the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). According to UNICEF, roughly 160 million children were subjected to child labor at the beginning of 2020, with 9 million additional children at risk due to the impact of COVID-19. This accounts for nearly 1 in 10 children worldwide. Almost half of them are in hazardous work that directly endangers their health and development. Children may be driven into work for various reasons. Most often, child labor occurs when families face financial challenges or uncertainty – whether due to poverty, sudden illness of a caregiver, or job loss of a primary wage earner. The consequences are staggering. Child labor can result in extreme bodily and mental harm and even death. It can lead to slavery and sexual or economic exploitation. And in nearly every case, it cuts children off from schooling and health care, restricting their fundamental rights. Migrant and refugee children – many of whom have been uprooted by conflict, disaster or poverty – also risk being forced into work and even trafficked, especially if they are migrating alone or taking irregular routes with their families. Trafficked children are often subjected to violence, On the advent of the World Day Against Child Labor: One in ten children is subject to child labor worldwide abuse and other human rights violations. For girls, the threat of sexual exploitation looms large, while boys may be exploited by armed forces or groups. Whatever the cause, child labor compounds social inequality and discrimination. Unlike activities that help children develop, such as contributing to light housework or taking on a job during school holidays, child labor limits access to education and harms a child’s physical, mental and social growth. Especially for girls, the “triple burden” of school, work and household chores heightens their risk of falling behind, making them even more vulnerable to poverty and exclusion. UNICEF works to prevent and respond to child labor, especially by strengthening the social service workforce. Social service workers play a key role in recognizing, preventing and managing risks that can lead to child labor. Our efforts develop and support the workforce to respond to potential situations of child labor through case management and social protection services, including early identification, registration and interim rehabilitation and referral services. “We also focus on strengthening parenting and community education initiatives to address harmful social norms that perpetuate child labor, while partnering with national and local governments to prevent violence, exploitation and abuse,” the organization said. With the International Labor Organization (ILO), we help to collect data that make child labor visible to decisionmakers. These efforts complement our work to strengthen birth registration systems, ensuring that all children possess birth certificates that prove they are under the legal age to work. Children removed from labor must also be safely returned to school or training. UNICEF supports increased access to quality education and provides comprehensive social services to keep children protected and with their families. “To address child trafficking, we work with United Nations partners and the European Union on initiatives that reach 13 countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America,” said the organization on its official website. In an interview with a local media, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Islamic Emirate, Samiullah Ebrahimi, said that the government is trying to bring Afghan children out of hard work. According to him, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has established training centers in all provinces of the country, including the capital, where children are trained in a bid to avoid hard work. Ebrahimi added that the ministry has conducted practical and technical courses for members of poor and orphaned families so that they can support their families by acquiring skills. The United Nations OCHA recently said that 19 percent of Afghanistan’s children are engaged in hard work. Mukhtar Safi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.