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World Day Against Child Labour 12 June 2012

This year the World Day Against Child Labour will provide a spotlight on the right of all children to be protected from child labour and from other violations of fundamental human rights.   On this day, ICN calls for support for its Girl Child Education Fund to enable the orphaned daughters of nurses to remain in school and not be forced into child labour. 

A recent study by the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) has found that one in seven orphaned and abandoned children in low and middle-income countries is a child labourer.  The study, Positive Outcomes for Orphans, was funded by the US National Institute for Child Health and Development and was led by Kathryn Whettan.  The resulting research article, Child work and labour among orphaned and abandoned children in five low and middle income countries found that, orphaned children “not attending school were 4 times more likely to engage in child labour than those in school, and children who were engaged in child labour were twice as likely to not attend school compared to children who worked fewer than 28 hours.”

Another significant and distressing finding was that female children were more than twice as likely to be engaged in child labour.  The report highlights the burden of unpaid domestic “chores” which often prevents girl children from attending school, interfering with their educational attainment and future wellbeing. 

ILO statistics show that the elimination of child labour in Sub-Saharan Africa is lagging behind other regions of the world. “Sub-Saharan Africa has the greatest incidence of children in economic activity – 28.4 per cent of all 5-14 year-olds, compared to 14.8 per cent for Asia and the Pacific and 9 per cent for Latin America.”

UNICEF regards education as a powerful means of preventing child labour. Their 2011 report “State of the World’s Children” indicates that only 63% of primary school age girls in sub-Saharan Africa are attending school (65% for boys).  The 2012 report points out that, “Domestic workers, most of them girls, are isolated and subject to the whims and arbitrary discipline of their employers, from whom they may suffer abuse. Sexual abuse is frequent but seldom prosecuted.”

More information from ICN:

Last Updated on Friday, 08 June 2012 14:19