COVID-19 Crisis Will Push Millions of Vulnerable Children Into Child Labour

The differential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on society needs to be acknowledged. While some of us are practising social distancing and exploring work from home options aggressively in the hope of a better tomorrow, there is a possibility that a substantial number of children would emerge as victims of such apparently positive measures. One impact would be an increase in the number of child workers.

Along with the health crisis, and the economic and labour market shock that the pandemic has generated, the vulnerability of millions to child labour is another issue that merits serious attention.

Already, there are 152 million child labourers worldwide. Despite the prohibition of engagement of children below the age of 14 in all occupations, India alone is home to 10.1 million child labourers in the age group 5-14 years (Census 2011). If the state governments do not take immediate and accelerated efforts to address this issue, we are going to lose the battle of eliminating all forms of child labour by 2025, a commitment under the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Consequences of imperfect labour market

All over the world, the quantity and quality of employment is deteriorating rapidly because of COVID-19. The subsequent economic shock will increase both unemployment and

— source | Protiva Kundu | 21/Apr/2020

Nullius in verba


Death of 14-year-old on the job highlights growth of child labor in Canada

A 14-year-old boy lost his life June 15 in a workplace accident at Atelier PJB in Saint-Martin, a village 125 km south of Quebec City. The young worker was crushed by his forklift truck when it overturned. The minimum legal age to drive such a machine in Quebec is 16. Terrible as it was, this event—which highlighted the growth of child labor in Quebec and across Canada—is not an isolated case. In fact, the accident was only the latest in a series in which very young workers have been seriously injured or killed. Last year, a 13-year-old was dragged by a conveyor belt at Bardobec, a cedar wood manufacturing company in Saint-Just-de-Bretenières, a city in southeastern Quebec. The young boy escaped with his life, but suffered a punctured lung, broken ribs and third-degree burns. In another 2019 case, a 17-year-old from Alma, Quebec died after being crushed by a 3,000 kg concrete panel just two weeks after starting work at Béton Préfabriqué du Lac.

— source | 23 Jul 2020

Nullius in verba