Governments of the world must focus on providing quality free education and prosecuting corrupt officials and people who siphon state and donor funds as crucial steps towards taking decisive action to fight child labour across the globe.
Ashley has vast work experience. She has laboured by the sweat of her brow in the blistering sun on the streets of Guatemala, in the open fields on farmlands and indoors, toiling for long hours to the hum of a sewing machine.
Her work resume might be impressive to some – street trader, farmworker and tailor – but she, like 160 million children around the world, is trapped in child labour, working desperately to support her impoverished family and provide for her education.
Amar Lai’s first memories are working alongside his parents and siblings in a quarry, breaking rocks. He was aged four.
Now chatting to Lai, a confident 25-year-old human rights lawyer, it is hard to believe he was once a child labourer.
The COVID pandemic has had a profoundly negative impact on Africa’s sovereign debt situation. Currently, 22 countries are either in debt distress or at high risk of debt distress.
Technology used to trace the origin and price of consumer goods to ensure farmers earn fair profits could easily be adapted as a tool to fight child labour Fair Trade living wage and income lead Isa Miralles told delegates at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour.
With a strong commitment from governments, businesses, labour and consumers, the scourge of child labour can be eliminated, says Dr Joni Musabayana, Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Pretoria, South Africa.
Global goals to eradicate child labour will not be achieved without a breakthrough in Africa, where most of the world’s 160 million children entrapped in child labour work in rural regions, mostly in agriculture with their families.
"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to eliminate child labour." So said Dennis Sinyolo, Director of Education International's African Regional Office in Accra, Ghana adapting liberation icon and late South African president Nelson Mandela's famous quote about how education can change the world.
Tara Banjara was four and a half years old when her parents put her to work on the roads, cleaning the garbage and rubble out of potholes to prepare for construction in Nemdi village, Rajasthan, India. She worked in the wind, cold, and rain with her mother, day in and day out, year in and year out. She would return home shattered, too exhausted to eat before falling asleep each night.
A mere 53 billion US dollars per annum – equivalent to 10 days of military spending – would ensure all children in all countries benefit from social protection, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi told the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour.
Children's voices took centre stage at the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour, which kicked off in Durban, South Africa, on May 15, 2022. Their voices resonated with the saying: "Nothing about us without us."
The Global Estimate on Child Labour estimates 160 million children are in child labour worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years – with millions more at risk due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Growing up amid under the leafy canopy of the Congo Basin rainforest, the woodland was more than our home. It was our playground, our medicine cabinet, our teacher, our therapist. And it was a source of livelihood with its rich biodiversity and helped shield us from the effects of climate change.
Children washing clothes in rivers, begging on the streets, hawking, walking for kilometres in search of water and firewood, their tiny hands competing with older, experienced hands to pick coffee or tea, or as child soldiers are familiar sights in Africa and Asia.
The past 20 years have seen a significant decline in maternal mortality rates from 342 deaths to 211 per 100,000 globally
. But every day, more than 800 women
around the world die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, up to 42 days after delivery. Most of these deaths are preventable.
“It feels like yesterday when I was deceived by one man who claimed to be a travelling agent. He promised me a work opportunity and a good salary,” says 25-year-old Cissy, as she prefers to be called. “As a young lady coming from an average family who really needed help, I fell for his lies.”
For international journalist Jeffery Moyo, doing his job could land him in prison if Zimbabwe authorities have their way.
“Journalism is a crime in Zimbabwe, and the regime is reactive to independent journalism,” says Moyo, an international correspondent for the New York Times and the Inter Press Service (IPS).[related_articles]
Growing up in Samoya Village of Bungoma County in the Western part of Kenya, Elvis Wanjala has fond childhood memories of the rainy season, chasing and catching black-bellied winged termites in the rain.
Fourteen-year-old Hadiza smiles as she clutches a purple bag in her hands. Inside the cloth bag is a Menstrual Hygiene Management kit, an essential item that gives her dignity and enables her to continue with school even when menstruating.
Over the last decade, Rwanda has invested in building efficient and resilient transport systems. Guided by the country’s Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy (GGCRS), the Government of Rwanda has carried out numerous initiatives to promote sustainable mobility and the green economy at large.
Across Africa, local manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies are responding to the urgent need for locally produced medical products and technologies despite the existing regulatory challenges. We can support manufacturing capacity by expediting the establishment and operationalisation of the African Medicines Agency (AMA).