Food Coalition

Working to contain and address child labour in food and agriculture during the COVID-19 crisis

The impacts of COVID-19 are hitting the most vulnerable groups hardest. These include children, especially those in migrant families, who are drawn into child labour.1 Cases are most severe in least developed countries, notably those that are already facing food crises. Prior to the pandemic, 108 million boys and girls worldwide were working in the agricultural sector, often undertaking hazardous tasks. The pandemic is likely to exacerbate this phenomenon, forcing millions of children into labour as households struggle to cope with food insecurity, lost income and deteriorating livelihoods.

Recent evidence suggests that more than 1.6 billion school-aged children worldwide are out of school due to the spread of COVID-19,2 with a significant potential impact on their education and future employment prospects. In addition, more than 300 million students worldwide received their main meal at school, which is now no longer possible due to the various forms of COVID-19 containment measures in place.

In the absence of appropriate social protection and other child labour-sensitive mechanisms, rural poor children will be among those facing the most dramatic and long-term effects of the pandemic.

Priority Areas of work: Economic Inclusion and Social Protection to Reduce Poverty
SDG: 1. No Poverty, 2. Zero Hunger, 4. Quality Education, 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth, 10. Reduced Inequality, 13. Climate Action
Level: Global
Country: Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, Uganda, Vietnam
Budget: USD 10 million

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