Gov’t urged: Invest in education, as child labor cases rise for first time in decades


Posted at Jun 12 2021 04:17 PM

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MANILA—The International Labor Organization urged the government to reach out to children and improve their education, especially in rural areas, as the number of child labor cases rose for the first time in decades. 

"It is the responsibility of the state to reach out to the children, invest in digital tech, or they will become a burden to society if they are not educated . . . It is in the interest of the government to invest in children especially in rural areas, as 2 out of 5 jobs are in rural areas," said Khalid Hassan, ILO's country director. 

According to the ILO, the number of child laborers has increased to 160 million in 2020 from 150 million in 2016. 

This means that one in 10 is working and millions more are at risk due to the coronavirus disease pandemic, with the ILO attributing this to people resorting to child labor as a survival strategy. 

They also predicted that up to 9 million more children could end up in this situation if governments do not step up. 

For Hassan, the uptick in the number of child laborers means “systems are not working.” — Dateline Philippines, 12 June 2021