The world has marked the first rise in child labor in two decades and the coronavirus crisis threatens to push millions more youngsters toward the same fate, the United Nations said.
In a joint report, the International Labor Organization and the UN children’s agency UNICEF said the number in child labor stood at 160 million at the start of 2020 - an increase of 8.4 million in four years.
The hike began before the pandemic hit and marks a dramatic reversal of a downward trend that had seen child labor numbers shrink by 94 million between 2000 and 2016, it said.
Just as the COVID-19 crisis was beginning to pick up steam, nearly 1 in 10 children globally were stuck in child labor, with sub-Saharan Africa the worst affected. (AFP)