Child labour increases 1st time in 2 decades, Nobel laureate urges action from world leaders on G7 eve

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With the prevalence of child labour increasing for the first time in the last two decades, Nobel Peace Laureate and founder of Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, Kailash Satyarthi on Thursday urged for action to be initiated by the world leaders to eliminate the practice.

On the eve of G7 summit, Kailash said, “On the eve of the @G7, this appalling rise in child labour poses the strongest moral challenge to our world leaders. Will they acknowledge this impact of growing inequality, or conduct business as usual by forgetting our children?”

On Thursday, the United Nations stated in every 10 children, one is involved in labor globally, and millions more are highly susceptible to it due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to news agency Reuters.

The total count of child laborers has raised to 160 million from 152 million in 2016. Africa has the highest surge citing population growth, crises, and poverty, revealed International Labour Organization (ILO) and the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), as per the report of Reuters.

Satyarthi posted on Twitter, “It is shameful that we are seeing the first rise in child labour in 20 years! New and bold steps must be taken. It is time to create a Global Social Protection Fund and national social protection floors. We need a fair share to end child labour,” adding the hashtags – #FairShareToEndChildLabour and #EndChildLabour2021.

He added, “There is no excuse or justification for an increase in child labour! Even before the pandemic began, over 16 million more young children in child labour. In the same 4 years, the world got richer by $10 trillion. Please, wake up!”

Kailash mentioned about his foundation Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) which has initiated a movement to protect the children and assure their rehabilitation and education and has rescued more than 11,000 children along with government officials amid the lockdown. He iterated India has constituted stringent laws against the exploitative practice and demanded everyone to come together to ensure “no child is forced to work to survive”.

“We are losing ground in the fight against child labour, and the last year has not made that fight any easier,” Reuters cited UNICEF’s executive director Henrietta Fore with the forthcoming Child Labour Day on June 12.

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