Press release - 12 June, International Day Against Child Labour: COVID-19 could lead to millions more children working

June 12, 2021 - Aide et ActionThe International Association for Development through Education is concerned about the current increase in child labour in many countries.

The right to education is a fundamental human right, indispensable for the exercise of other human rights. Child labour is therefore a violation of this right and is not a violation of the right to work.very child should have a place in an education system adapted to his or her situation and age.

However, recent studies have shown that, because of the health crisis related to COVID-19 - and its economic consequences - many countries are now in a position to take action.illions more children are at risk of being "This could lead to an increase in child labour for the first time in 20 years.

Aide et Action alerts and calls for mobilization so that the "world after" is really better and that all children, young people and adults can have access to quality education.

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Since the end of the 19th century in France, Europe and the rest of the world, societies, leaders, the media and public opinion have largely changed on the issue of child labour. Whereas child labour used to be the norm, it is now seen as a major human scourge that must be fought relentlessly.

Much progress has been made, the result of courageous struggles for children's rights and labour rights. While decades of progress have reduced child labour by 94 million since 2000, an estimated 152 million children - mostly in poor countries, especially in Africa and Asia - are still working in the informal sector. "deprived of their childhood, their potential and their dignity,  because they are forced into [dangerous] work (72 million of them)mines, brick factories, child soldiers, drug trafficking, prostitution etc.) and in a situation of slavery for 4.3 million of them] endangering". their schooling, health and physical and mental development". .

This year, the devastating economic and other effects of the COVID-19 crisis are likely to make the situation even worse and could lead to an increase in child labour for the first time in twenty years. While there are many reasons for child labour, including social norms, inequality and discrimination, lack of decent work for adults and adolescents, migration and emergencies, poverty is the main driver.

For 40 years, Aide et Action, an international association for development through education, has been fighting for access to quality education for everyone in the world. To fight against child labour, to contribute to the respect of the right to education and to enforce article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (international)Aide et Action supports the poorest families and creates the necessary conditions for children to go to school, be properly fed and evolve in an environment conducive to learning and development. Therefore, since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Aide et Action has initiated new activities and/or adapted its existing activities within its 85 projects in 19 countries, in order to respond to the educational and economic consequences of the crisis. Overall, in 2020, Aide et Action's rapid response to the COVID-19 crisis has thus supported 912,791 people (including 50% girls and women). Our objective? To mitigate the immediate negative consequences of the pandemic and limit the longer term impacts, including child labour, for the vulnerable and marginalized populations that Aide et Action supports in its programmes.

"Everywhere in the world, a child should be able to enjoy his childhood and his carefree time. Their place is in school and their schoolwork is the only work they can do. In the face of the current worrying increase in child labour, we remain vigilant, ready to intervene in response to this threat, in order to limit the number of victims. insists Charles-Emmanuel Ballanger, International Director General of Aide et Action. "At the same time, with nearly half of the world's students still affected by school closures and with up to 20 million girls estimated never to return to school, the government is taking action to ensure that girls are not left behind, political commitments must be matched by ambitious fundingThis is why it is more important than ever for us to face up to this unprecedented educational emergency! "

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Press contact: Anne Cassiot : 01 55 25 70 13 - [email protected]

About Aide et Action

Founded in 1981, Aide et ActionThe International Association for Development through Education ensures access to quality education for the most vulnerable and marginalised populations, especially children, girls and women, so that they can control their own development and contribute to a more peaceful and sustainable world. We promote lifelong learning because access to quality education helps to fight poverty and disease, limit climate change and build peace in a sustainable world. We focus on early childhood care and education, access to and quality of education at primary and secondary levels, as well as vocational training and social inclusion. Based on the values of dignity, inclusion and integrity, as well as on the principles of transparency, accountability and solidarity, and thanks to the support of more than 51,000 donors, we are currently running 85 projects in 19 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe - and especially in France - for more than 2.9 million children, young people and adults.

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