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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charity warns child labour is rising unchecked due to pandemic

 

Warning from international aid group

An aid charity has warned that 2020 saw the first rise in child labour in 20 years.

Save the Children is urging businesses to back International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour as child labour rises for first time in decades.

According to Save the Children, COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the global economy, triggering the deepest worldwide recession in decades, with an estimated 150 million people being pushed into poverty.

As a result, many children are out of school and economic pressures on families continue to grow, which mean millions of children could be forced into harmful child labour as households use every available means to survive.

In addition to robbing children of their childhoods and their right to an education, working children suffer severe health problems and serious mental health issues which result in devastating effects to their social development.

To try and prevent this, the UN has declared 2021 to be the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.

To support this, Save the Children says it will intensify its programming and advocacy even further to keep children safe from child labour and ensure children return to school and learning safely.

These efforts will form charity’s contribution to ending child labour in all its forms by 2025 and the charity is calling upon businesses to join forces with them and help put an end to child labour for good. 

Tamsyn Hanrahan, head of partnership development at Save the Children, said: “We need to act now if we want to stop innocent children being forced into child labour.

“We work with a broad range of businesses to strengthen supply chains and support the communities within which they are rooted.

“We are urging more of the private sector to work with us so that we can put a stop to child labour and create a better future for everyone.”

As part of the charity’s commitments to ending child labour, Save the Children works closely with businesses around the world to educate companies on the Children’s Rights and Business Principles – a framework developed by Save the Children, UNICEF and the UN Global Compact to guide companies on how to respect and support children’s rights – as well as improve supply chains, address and monitor child labour risks, strengthen communities and improve access to education for all children.

It already works with a variety of companies to support the communities they work with, protect children, improve early childhood development and prevent child labour in supply chains. The charity is now calling on more businesses to get in touch and help build a better future for us all.

 

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