Issue on child labor in agriculture needs to be addressed
United Nations’ (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is urging nations to pay greater attention and allocate more financial resources to addressing child labor in agriculture sector.
The call for action was made as FAO observed World Day Against Child Labor at a global conference.
FAO pointed out that almost all dedicated financial resources for fighting child labor right now are channeled towards addressing child labor in global supply chains whereas the child labor situations in small-scale households remain largely neglected.
“It is time we go beyond the exclusive focus on selected global supply chains and begin investing resources into tackling child labor in all situations,” said FAO’s Director-General José Graziano da Silva.
“It is also essential to engage the agricultural workers and producer organizations,” he added.
Of the 152 million children in child labor situations around the world, more than 70 percent or 108 million girls and boys between the ages of 5 and 17 work in farming, livestock, forestry, fishing or aquaculture.
The number of children in child labor in agriculture has increased by 10 million since 2012. Moreover, 85 percent of child labor in Africa is found in the agriculture sector.
Some of the key factors that contribute to child labor in rural areas are low family incomes and household poverty, few livelihood alternatives, poor access to education and limited labor law enforcement.