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The number of child workers has increased by 8.4 million in the last 4 years to 160 million

According to the “Child Labour: 2020 Global Forecasts, Trends and The Road Ahead” report published by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the number of child workers has increased by 8.4 million in the last 4 years and reached 160 million worldwide. Commenting on the subject, Prof. Dr. İsmet Galip Yolcuoğlu said, “Child labor has an emotional and economic exploitation dimension. Studies show that there is a vicious circle relationship between almost all underdevelopment criteria and child employment. As long as the problems such as lack of education, structural economic problems, poverty and unemployment in the countries cannot be resolved, the problem of child employment will inevitably continue.

The number of child workers has increased by 8.4 million in the last 4 years to 160 million

The International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF have released the updated data of the report 'Child Labour: 2020 Global Forecasts, Trends and The Road Ahead' for the June 12th World Day Against Child Labour. According to the report, the number of child workers in the world increased by 8.4 million in the last 4 years, from 152 million to 160 million. The report, which stated that Covid-19 also had an impact on the increase, warned that it reversed the downward trend achieved by the 94 million decrease in the number of child workers between 2000 and 2016.
Making evaluations on the subject, from Istanbul Gelisim University School of Applied Sciences Department of Social Services Lect. Prof. Dr. İsmet Galip Yolcuoğlu stated that child labor is most prevalent in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and emotional and economic exploitation is among the biggest reasons for this increase.

THE NUMBER OF CHILD LABOR INCREASED 8.4 MILLION IN 4 YEARS

Expressing that child labor, as a major social problem, started to come to the fore in the whole world, with the realization of poor children who were working 15 hours a day without food or water during the Industrial Revolution period, which first started in England in the 1800s, Prof. Dr. Yolcuoğlu said, “Family's inability to make a living due to 'poverty and unemployment' for the last two centuries is the most fundamental reason for child labour. According to TURKSTAT's 2020 'Children with Statistics' report, the rate of employment of children aged 15-17 in our country is 16.2%. According to the 'World Labor Report' published by the International Labor Organization, it has been determined that child employment is related to the following variables: Children start to be employed at a very young age, they are employed for long periods of time, they operate in conditions that challenge their physical and psychological capacities, they are employed for a very low wage. They are employed in monotonous jobs that prevent their physical, mental and psychological development and consist of constant repetition, they are worked under pressure, fear and threat, they are worked on the streets.”

"CHILDREN ARE EXPLOITED EMOTIONALLY AND ECONOMICALLY"

Stating that there is an emotional and economic exploitation dimension in child labor, Prof. Dr. Yolcuoğlu said, “Children are exploited emotionally and economically. Today, the situation is even more dire. Because millions of children are at risk with the effects of Covid-19. Four years ago, the number of child workers was 152 million in the world. In Turkey, this number was estimated to be around 800,000. When we look at the current data of the report 'Child Labour: 2020 Global Forecasts, Trends and The Way Ahead', published by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF before the World Day Against Child Labour, on 12 June, the number of child laborers has increased by 8.4 million in the last 4 years. We see that it has increased to 160 million in the world.”
THERE IS A VICIOUS CIRCLE BETWEEN UNDERDEVELOPMENT CRITERIAS AND CHILD EMPLOYMENT
Stating that child labor is prevalent in Africa with 72 million, followed by 62 million in Asia and the Pacific, Prof. Dr. Yolcuoğlu said, “The fact that child labor is more common in underdeveloped countries' economies brings up the connection of this problem with the 'underdevelopment criteria'. Studies show that there is a vicious circle relationship between almost all underdevelopment criteria and child employment. Moreover, this relationship leads to the perpetuation and institutionalization of underdevelopment in those countries. The problem of child labor cannot be separated from the socio-economic and economic-political problems that the country is in in general, and it turns out that the measures for the solution require 'social policies' that cover all the weak and vulnerable population on a large scale.”

WHAT PRECAUTIONS DO THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND OTHER COUNTRIES TAKE?

Regarding the roadmap followed by international organizations and countries in the world in the fight against child labour, Prof. Dr. Yolcuoğlu said, “The Convention on the Rights of the Child was accepted at the UN in November 1989, and the party countries stated that all children of the world have the right to 'life, development, health, education, care, protection'. Our country ratified this convention in 1995. However, as long as the lack of education, structural economic problems, poverty and unemployment in the countries cannot be resolved, the problem of child employment will inevitably continue. There is no country that can solve this issue radically.”

Edited date: 11.06.2021
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