SWITZERLAND, JUNE 13 – No fewer than 72 million children in Africa are forced into child labour as a result of this coronavirus pandemic, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo.
The UN’s health agency said in its official twitter account @WHOAFRO that the COVID-19 crisis had further put many more children at risk of child labour.
“Child labour is detrimental to the health and development of children.
“We must protect children from child labour, now more than ever,’’ it said.
Meanwhile, the UN in a statement, said huge gains made toward ending child labour over the last 20 years, risk being reversed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UN made the observation in a statement issued to commemorate the World Day Against Child Labour, marked annually on June 12.
It, however, appealed to governments to continue to invest in measures that have helped reduce the number of youngsters working, by 94 million since 2000.
Existing global estimates indicate that 152 million children are being put to work.
But the figure is due to be updated next year, once the wider impact of coronavirus lockdown precautions become clearer.