Press release - Child labour: the other epidemic

31 May 2022

Photo credit: Olivier HARRASSOWSKI

12 June: International Day Against Child Labour

Paris, 31 May 2022 - Soon after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aide et ActionThe International Association for Development through Education (IDEA) warned that the efforts of governments and organisations to combat global child labour could be wiped out by the increase in poverty associated with the health crisis. 

2021 will be the year when child labour will have increased for the first time in more than 20 years. Last year, a report revealed that the number of child labourers had increased by 8.9 million over the past four years, from 152 million to 160 million, or 1 in 10 children. 

Extreme poverty forces poor families to put their children to work, especially when they are taken out of school during lockdowns and school closures. However, with the HIV-19 pandemic, over 200 million more people have been pushed into extreme poverty. This number could reach 1 billion by 2050. 

The multiplication of economic crises and global conflicts, but also the inefficiency of economic and social policies in many countries, have led to a significant increase in the number of households living on less than US$1.90 a day and, as a consequence, to an increase in child labour. 

Aide et Action calls on governments to take urgent action, This includes access to free, public and quality education for all. Beyond legal and regulatory frameworks (minimum working age, working conditions, tools and mechanisms to eliminate child labour), Aide et Action also calls for the implementation of policies that provide families with economic activities that enable them to live decently, without having to resort to child labour, and for the implementation of universal social security.

  • By June 2020 and the reopening of schools, Aide et Action had resumed its activities in support of ethnic minorities Laos and Vietnam and focused on vocational skills and guidance as well as livelihoods.
  • In 2019, in IndiaAide et Action has developed, in partnership with UNICEF, the "Secure city". which is based on a strong and effective child protection system. For example, we have helped to strengthen child protection structures such as the Department for the Advancement of Women and Children, child protection committees, juvenile justice commissions, and special juvenile police units and services.

By enabling everyone, girls and boys, to learn to read, write and count; by helping them to become autonomous and enlightened citizens; by giving them the opportunity to - in the long run - get a decent paid job, Aide et Action will be able to convince families that "everything starts with education" and will protect children from child labor. 

About Aide et Action 

For over 40 years, 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. 

Because access to quality education helps to fight poverty and disease, limit climate change and build peace in a sustainable world, we promote lifelong learning. We therefore pay particular attention to early childhood care and education, access to and quality of education at primary and secondary levels, and 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 our 51,000 donors, we are currently running 85 projects in 19 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and France for nearly 3 million children, young people and adults.

Aide et Action press contact: Anne Cassiot - 01 55 25 70 13 - 06 82 10 89 01

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