Children’s work in Africa: “The health crisis has had a considerable impact”

On the occasion of the International Wrestling Day, the Unicef ​​coordinator, Hani Mansourian, deciphers the reasons for the phenomenon of the phenomenon on the continent.

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The Pandemic of COVID-19 was right with the enormous progress recorded since the early 2000s to end children’s work, especially in Africa. The International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) believe that the consequences of the health crisis are likely to “push” 9 million children to work by the end from 2022 “in the world.

In sub -Saharan Africa, demographic growth, multiple economic and security crises, extreme poverty and insufficient social protection have already resulted in that 16.6 million additional children are required to work since 2016, according to the United Nations figures.

Hani Mansourian, Coordinator of the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (Alliance CPA) in the name of UNICEF, deciphers the challenges of the containment of this scourge which deprives the African children of African Their future.

Why is child labor up in Africa when he declines in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East?

Hani Mansourian The first reason seems to be population growth, which continues to accelerate on the continent. Many governments do not have the means to guarantee families sufficient social protection, which makes it possible to avoid child labor. Access to education poses a problem, while it is an effective prevention factor. On the African continent, one in four children aged 5 to 11 is not educated. In the oldest, he is one in three children. However, there is a link of direct reciprocity between dropping out of school and work in children. The health crisis had a considerable impact on this phenomenon.

We predicted it in 2020, militating so that the closing of schools was taken more seriously. In Kenya, where I live, schools closed for nine months! This decision was based on public health considerations, but did not necessarily take into account the other consequences. Many children won and never returned to school. The epidemic of COVID-19 has also increased poverty, particularly among the most vulnerable which ended up losing their work or their sources of income, in particular because of the closure of the markets.

how child labor and what are the most concerned sectors?

In sub -Saharan Africa, agriculture, and in particular subsistence agriculture, concentrates 82 % of infant work, compared to 71 % worldwide. The agricultural sector in itself is not considered dangerous, but the constraints associated with it (dropping out, poor working conditions …) categorize it as such.

Some 57 % of children working in sub -Saharan Africa are boys, but we know that girls are more victims of sexual exploitation or even slavery: traffickers tear them down to their communities and take them to the -Ditant borders.

What are the economic and social consequences of this long -term phenomenon?

Children’s work has a close correlation with poverty. By working to participate in meeting the needs of the family, a child is more likely to be out of school and never find a well -paid job in the future. It is all the more difficult to break this cycle than an adult who has worked in childhood will be more likely to trivialize this situation. The widespread the infantile work, the more it becomes a social standard.

This is worth in families but also societies: communities are less inclined to fight against this phenomenon and governments to set up regulations. If the States try to legislate, they must face employers who benefit from the lower cost of infantile labor and have gotten used to it. Besides, when it is an intra -family agricultural environment, children work for free.

/Media reports.