Lack of decent work awaits former child laborers, says ILO report
The growing incidence of child labor in the world will ultimately result in lack of decent employment opportunities for former youth laborers in the future.
This was the central message of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in its World Report on Child Labor 2015, which was released on Wednesday, two days before the World Against Child Labor Day on Friday.
“Some 168 million children remain trapped in child labor while at the same time there are 75 million young persons aged 15 to 24 years who are unemployed and many more who must settle for jobs that fail to offer a fair income, security in the workplace, social protection or other basic decent work attributes,” ILO said.
Citing the results of an ILO school-to-work transition survey, the report said child labor and leaving schooling early affected eventual employment outcomes of child laborers, as involvement in child labor was linked to lower educational attainment and low-earning jobs.
“Child labor, in other words, not only poses well-known immediate health, safety and development risks, but is also associated with compromised earning prospects and less chance of securing decent work in the longer term,” the report read.
ILO said children who dropped school at the age of 15 had a bigger risk of never landing a job, while those who were able to get one took a longer time to do so, and were less likely to secure stable jobs than the more educated youth.
“The labor market experience of early school leavers is therefore more likely to be characterized by a series of unstable short-terms jobs, often interspersed with periods of unemployment and absences from the labor force,” ILO added.
The report said the 15-17 age bracket is the most vulnerable to child labor, amounting to a total of 47.5 million adolescents as of 2012 and accounting for 28 percent of the overall number of children involved in child labor.
“In many countries, interventions addressing premature school leaving and child labor are critical to broader efforts towards ensuring decent work for young persons,” ILO said.
To eliminate child labor and generate decent employment opportunities for the youth, ILO underscored the importance of crafting a coherent policy approach, which included early intervention, facilitating transition from school to work and building an enabling economic and legal environment.
“Policy coherence means policies that take into full account the close relationship between education, child labor and youth employment outcomes in the countries where child labor is a relevant issue,” ILO said. RC
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