Displayed with permission from The Jordan Times
AMMAN — Today marks the World Day Against Child Labour, launched in 2002 by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in order to focus global attention on the extent of child labour and the efforts needed to eliminate it.
This year’s theme “In conflicts and disasters, protect children from child labour” seeks to shed light on the impact of conflicts and disasters on child labour, according to the UN website.
The Sisterhood Is Global Institute (SIGI) said that the 2016 survey of child labour in the Kingdom showed that the number of working children between the ages of five and 17 totalled 75,982, of whom 8,868 were female, constituting 11.7 per cent, according to a SIGI statement.
Regarding nationality, 60,787 working children were Jordanians, 11,098 were Syrian and 4,096 were from other nationalities.
The survey — issued by the University of Jordan’s Centre for Strategic Studies, in cooperation with the ILO, the Labour Ministry and the Department of Statistics — showed that 44,917 children (2,393 of whom were female) work in hazardous jobs.
Of the 2,393 girls who worked, SIGI said the survey revealed that 586 girls were aged between five and 11 years, 687 between 12 and 14 years old, while 1,120 girls were aged between 15 and 17.
Leaving school increases the chances for children to stay out of the labour market in the future, SIGI said, noting that the survey estimated that 38 per cent of children who left school before the age of 15 are unemployed.
The survey also concluded that 41 per cent of these children will go longer before securing their first job, the SIGI statement added.
Globally, over 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by conflict, violence and fragility. At the same time, around 200 million people are affected by disasters every year, a third of whom are children, according to www.un.org.
A significant proportion of the 168 million children engaged in child labour live in areas affected by conflict and disaster. The 2017 World Day against Child Labour focuses on the impact of conflicts and disasters on child labour.
“Conflicts and disasters have a devastating impact on people’s lives. They kill, maim, injure, force people to flee their homes, destroy livelihoods, push people into poverty and starvation and trap people in situations where their basic human rights are violated,” the website stated.
“Children are often the first to suffer as schools are destroyed and basic services are disrupted. Many children are internally displaced or become refugees in other countries, and are particularly vulnerable to trafficking and child labour,”the site continued.
“Ultimately, millions of children are pushed into child labour by conflicts and disasters,”the website concluded.