Around the world, as many as 168 million children aged five to 17 are child labourers. Conflict and emergencies drive children out of education and into work, forced labour and child marriage. But support for education in emergencies offers a way to break the cycle of poverty for these children and their families.
Around the world, as many as 168 million children between the ages of 5 to 17 are child labourers. At least 85 million are in very hazardous work – forced labour, trafficking and bonded labour.
Their chances of getting an education and breaking the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families are remote.
This briefing examines how conflict and emergencies drive children out of education and into work, forced labour and child marriage.
It tells how conflict destroys economies and increases poverty; it destroys assets, transportation and opportunities for well-paid work for adults. This increases the need for all members of the household to find ways to contribute to the family's basic needs. And if the crisis means the education system is no longer operating, then work may appear to be the best option for children.
It also says education is a proven strategy to reduce and eliminate child labour. During emergencies, schools and other safe learning settings can provide physical protection and serve as a place to share lifesaving information that children and families can use to protect themselves. Access to education can also break the cycle of poverty at the root of child labour.
A World At School - Briefing: Child Labour And Education in Emergencies (September 2015)