Child labor hinders children’s education | Global Partnership for Education

Child labor hinders children’s education

We know that poverty often pushes children to work, yet when children leave school early to enter the labor force they are more likely to end up in occupations that limit their chances of breaking out of poverty.

© Save the Children

June 12 is the World Day Against Child Labor and while the number of children 5-17 who work has declined by 30% since 2000, there are still 168 million child laborers worldwide according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). More than half, 85 million, are in hazardous work.

In the 2015 report Child Labour and Education – Progress, challenges, and future directions the ILO analyzes the role of child labor in keeping children away from school, as well as the lack of accessible, affordable and good quality schooling as a factor for children to enter the workforce. 

The findings outlined in the report include:

  • Child labor lowers net primary enrollment ratios.
  • There is a strong negative effect of child labor on school attendance. In some countries, school attendance rates of working children are only about half of those of non-working children.
  • There is a significant negative correlation between levels of economic activity of children aged 7-14 years and youth literacy rates in the 15-24 age bracket.
  • Rural working children tend to be among the most disadvantaged.
  • Boys and girls often do different jobs. Girls are usually overrepresented in non-economic activities such as work in their “own household“. They also often bear the double burden of work outside and inside the house, often with little time left for schooling.
  • For children who manage to combine work and education, performance at school often suffers.

We know that poverty often pushes children to work, yet when children leave school early to enter the labor force they are more likely to end up in occupations that limit their chances of breaking out of poverty.

The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal for Education rests on children being free to go to school rather than working to support their families, while ensuring decent work (SDG 8) and eliminating all child labor will be impossible without quality education for all children. Therefore, it is essential that we continue to work on exploring and addressing the links between education and child labor. 

Poverty, SDG 4

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Education Cannot Wait

It is not only that children drop out of school into the labor, but the labor children often get engaged are such that are not without a health risks, with no potential for future prospects for these children. It is a common knowledge that these brisk of businesses are not enough to compensate for the low performance of these children in their schools for those who happened to combine both. Less privileged children were the most affected and suffered the most. In the meantime,every child should be carried along for a better future. We must stop child labor with all its ills for our children to prosper later in life.#Goal4 should be given special priority because of its relativity to achieving the #SDGs.

Child labor and education

It is a truism that poverty is a vicious cycle as mentioned above. However, the extent to which child labor hinders education is due more to poverty than the supposed lack of access to quality and relevant education. Because those factors are themselves results of poverty. Poverty alleviation and its ultimate eradication stand to be the key to break the vicious cycle, delink child labor and its impact on the education of the child.

Child labor and education

It is less arguable, child labor and lack of acceptable educational infrastructure are primarily twin infection contributing to the massive out of school rate in the world. This is especially sporadic in developing countries. To me, what is sad is that most of these countries; especially in the African setting acknowledged child labor and lack of accessible quality school facilities as potentially affecting children progress but tangible efforts to improve the situation have been either weak and or shortsighted or both.We have to act now to better the situation or risk inheriting burdens (millions of less fortunate children). Indeed education can't wait.

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