Good living conditions after COVID-19 / Working children demand flexible education and…

Terrestrial Human Germany e. Fifth

Osnabrück/Geneva (OTS)

For millions of children, COVID-19 has meant hunger, poverty and the end of educational opportunities. The global impact of the pandemic on children and their families can be felt in many areas of life. This is confirmed by the Child Labor Report 2022, published by the international children’s charity, Terre des Hommes, on the occasion of the International Labor Organization (ILO) global conference in South Africa, which begins on Sunday. The report examines how children’s living conditions have changed as a result of COVID-19 and what measures are needed to rebuild society equitably from the perspective of those affected.

Case studies in India and Peru compiled by Terre des Hommes show that as a result of the pandemic, many children have worked to ensure the survival of their families. This confirms the global trend of increased child labor due to the pandemic for the first time in 20 years. Fears and anxieties about the future prevail among the Peruvian children who went to school before the pandemic and worked as street vendors alongside: their parents lost their jobs and had no prospects at all, and the children had no prospects in the past two years. Due to insufficient technical equipment they lost a lot of educational materials for years and lost contact with the lessons, so the only thing left for them was to work on the street. In India, boys and girls reported that they had to make up for their parents’ loss of income by prospecting for the mica mineral in mica mines under more hazardous working conditions. Mica is found in many products, among others it is used in the cosmetic and electronics industries due to the shimmer of mother-of-pearl and its good conductivity. To do this, they often have to take down unsafe shafts up to 20 meters deep and risk their lives when mining. In both countries, children are complaining of lack of food supplies since Covid19, and in India the risk of early marriage for girls is also increasing because families cannot guarantee their livelihood.

In the workshops, affected children and adults, along with teachers and government representatives, developed recommendations for a sustainable and equitable restoration of good living conditions after the pandemic. They demand flexible learning offerings and digital equipment so they can study at home in the early morning, afternoon or evening after work. For example, school staff and government officials in Peru envisioned an education system that would provide the technical resources needed to ensure that children had access to learning even in times of future crisis. In addition, they want an educational system that takes into account the social skills required for children’s development. In India, children and adults wanted the government to provide girls and boys from disadvantaged families with scholarships, uniforms, stationery, and bicycles, and for students attending schools outside their village to have free transportation. For higher education, a teacher in India also proposed interest-free loans and improved virtual access to education, especially in remote areas. In addition, children and their families demand decent working conditions for adults. Fair wages are necessary to ensure the basic needs of the family, including the education of children.

“The report shows how much children are suffering from the consequences of the pandemic,” said Pete Whirl, a spokesman for the Terrestrial Council. “The consequences of the pandemic threaten the well-being of children significantly. We are witnessing an alarming increase in exploitative child labor in our project areas. At the global conference that begins on Sunday, the international community must adopt measures that will enable the poorest people to deal with the consequences of COVID-19 to live and gain a foothold again Economically and socially. Above all, this includes protection from violence and access to education, enabling children to get an education and not be exploited as day labourers.”

For inquiries:

Antjee Ruhmann, Child Rights Expert in Terre des hommes, Tel: 0541/7101 171, Mobile: 01 60/94 18 32 81, Email: a.ruhmann@tdh.de
More information: www.tdh.de/kinderarbeitsreport2022

Original content by: terre des hommes Deutschland e. Fifthly, transmitted by aktuell . news

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