Impact of COVID-19 on Child Labour in South Asia   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Summary: "The COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic has not (to date) hit South Asia as badly in terms of infections and deaths as some other parts of the world (notably Europe). However, it is having a profound negative economic impact on the region. Experience of previous epidemics/financial crises suggests that the current crisis will lead to a rise in child labour across the developing world, including in South Asia. Loss of informal sector jobs, rising poverty and lack of social protection, coupled with widespread school closures, could force families to turn to child labour to survive. Children already working could face harsher conditions, with lower pay and longer hours. Agriculture and the garment industry are identified as two sectors that could see a rise in child labour, but otherwise there is a lack of disaggregated data. This review drew on a mixture of academic papers, grey literature and media reports and blogs. Evidence on the impact of previous pandemics/crises on child labour in South Asia was limited, and hence the report looks at the Ebola epidemic in Africa and the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and global financial crisis of 2007/8. The literature details the pathways through which the current crisis could lead to increased child labour. However, precise data on impact on child labour is very limited, and does not disaggregate much by country, and even less by sector, gender or rural/urban location."

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