Five years to end child labour: education could be the solution
Reshmi Prabhu (12) in a cotton field in Karnatarka, India. She previously worked in the fields before being enrolled in school for the first time this year. (21 April 2020) Despite substantial progress in reducing the number of children involved in child labour, there are still an estimated 10.8 million child labourers India and Bangladesh. Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 aims to end child labour by 2025. Urgent action is needed to achieve this. In response to this challenge, UNICEF Innocenti has begun a new four-year research project to identify effective educational strategies to address child labour in India and Bangladesh.FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR NEW RESEARCH PROJECT EXPLORING THE LINKS BETWEEN CHILD LABOUR AND EDUCATIONTo kick-off the project, which is funded with UK aid from the UK government, an inception workshop was held in New Delhi (India) in November 2019. During the workshop, available evidence on child labour and education was discussed and research gaps were identified. Eleven technical experts on child labour and education from India and Bangladesh presented research to representatives from the ILO, World Bank, DFID, local NGOs, research institutes, and UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia and Country Offices (India and Bangladesh).“Child labour continues to be a key indicator of how well the world is doing on child rights and in creating a strong foundation for child well-being and human development,” said UNICEF Innocenti’s Chief of Child Rights and Child Protection, Ramya Subrahmanian. “In the context of the current pandemic, prolonged school closures can significantly impact school dropout and child labour, and evidence and policy actions need to recognise and address this risk. The inception workshop has helped us develop a platform for engagement with national experts and international partners on key priorities and questions in a dynamic and changing context.”Patterns and trends in child labour and schoolingKabir Uddin from Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and Ellina Samantroy from VV Giri National Labour Institute provided an overview of the most recent available national data on prevalence and trends in child work, schooling, and their intersections in India and Bangladesh.Patterns & trends in child labour & schooling & their intersections in Bangladesh from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti Landscaping prevalence & trends in child labour & schooling and their intersections in India from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti Evidence gaps on child labour and schooling in BangladeshBy examining issues of measurement and data availability on child labour and schooling, Zulfiqar Alli from the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies and Mudit Kapoor from the Indian Statistical Institute identified evidence gaps and new hypotheses for research.Scoping evidence gaps on patterns & trends in child labour & schooling & their intersections in Bangladesh from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti Child Labour: Evidence gaps & new hypothesis for research in India from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti Worst form of child labourAKM Masud Ali from INCIDIN in Bangladesh and Davuluri Venkateswarlu from Global Research in India reviewed the evidence on forms of child labour, such as slavery and trafficking, that are hidden and especially harmful for children.The Forbidden Terrain of the Worst Form of Child Labour in Bangladesh from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti Worst forms of child labour in India with a focus on rural sector from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti Linking child labour, schooling, and marriageSajeda Amin from the Population Council and Renu Singh from Young Lives India scoped conceptual and empirical perspectives on the linkages between child labour, schooling, and marriage in Bangladesh and India.Linking Child Labour, Schooling & Marriage: exploring critical intersections from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti Scoping the linkages between child labour, schooling & marriage in India from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti Linkages between child labour, schooling, and migrationNowreen Yasmin from Noakhali Science and Technology University and Renu Singh from Young Lives India presented the current evidence on the interlinkages between internal migration, child labour, and schooling in Bangladesh and India.Scoping the linkages between internal migration, child labour & schooling in Bangladesh from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti Scoping the linkages between internal migration, child labour & schooling in India from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti Education strategiesJyotsna Jha from the Centre for Budget and Policy Studies and Samir Ranjan Nath from BRAC Institute for Education and Development presented the evidence on how educational strategies, including vocational training and skills development, address child labour in India and Bangladesh.Landscaping education strategies to address child labour in India from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti Landscaping education strategies to address child labour in Bangladesh from UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti Participants at the inception workshop held in New Delhi in November 2019. Find out more about our research project exploring Child Labour and Education in India and Bangladesh. Discover our work on Child Labour.
Preventing the sale and exploitation of children in a rapidly changing world
States must step up their efforts to eradicate the sale and sexual exploitation of children to keep up with evolving risks. The UN Special Rapporteur stressed this message at the Human Rights Council earlier this month, where she released the final report of her six-year tenure. In the report, Ms Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, provides an analysis of key challenges, trends, and recommendations for the way forward.
Greater support needed for working families as COVID-19 takes hold – UNICEF and ILO
NEW YORK, 30 March 2020 – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its exponential growth, it is essential to support working families to minimize negative consequences for children, UNICEF and ILO said today. Job loss, school closures, and unavailability of childcare mean that families, especially those in low-income households, need extra support. “The fallout from the pandemic – job losses, prolonged stress and a deterioration of mental health – will be felt by families for years to come,” said UNICEF Chief of Early Childhood Development Dr. Pia Rebello Britto. “For the most vulnerable children, the absence of adequate social protection systems exacerbates their exposure to the crisis.”
UNICEF support for education as COVID-19 forces schools worldwide to close
NEW YORK, 26 March 2020 – As nationwide school closures disrupt education for more than 80 per cent of students worldwide, UNICEF today announced it will significantly scale up support in all countries to help children continue their learning while keeping schools safe. “Schools in the majority of countries worldwide have closed. It is an unprecedented situation and unless we collectively act now to protect children’s education, societies and economies will feel the burden long after we’ve beaten COVID-19. In the most vulnerable communities, the impact will span generations,” said Robert Jenkins, UNICEF Global Chief of Education.
COVID-19: Children at heightened risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence
NEW YORK, 20 March 2020 – Hundreds of millions of children around the world will likely face increasing threats to their safety and wellbeing – including mistreatment, gender-based violence, exploitation, social exclusion and separation from caregivers – because of actions taken to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. UNICEF is urging governments to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children amidst the intensifying socioeconomic fallout from the disease. The UN children’s agency, together with its partners at the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, has released a set of guidance to support authorities and organizations involved in the response.
Twenty-five years of progress for women since the Beijing Declaration
(19 March 2020) Twenty-five years ago the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was issued. However, girls are far from being free of discrimination and far from enjoying their full rights, especially adolescent and marginalized girls. Despite much progress made in advancing the condition of women and girls, gaps remain in achieving the commitments agreed upon in the 1995 Platform for Action.
(18 March 2020) First there was racial distancing – locals taking a wide berth around Chinese tourists – then came the jokes, Italians having a good time when the world thought they were in the midst of a plague. Locals scoffed when one after the next foreign universities and colleges in Florence closed – “it’s just like the flu,” many said. Others cringed at “hysterical” headlines about their beloved country. That was late February when there were only a handful of Coronavirus cases in northern Italy.
Everything you need to know about conducting evidence synthesis research
(5 March 2020) UNICEF places evidence-informed thinking at the heart of its strategic planning. Evidence is seen as key to understanding the barriers that hold children back, and to developing the solutions that can overcome those barriers to ensure that no child is left behind. In order to build capacity and expand use of evidence synthesis as a tool for improving the situation of the world’s most vulnerable children, UNICEF Innocenti has released a new series of eight methodological briefs on evidence synthesis that will be important resources for global evidence generation efforts.
Impacts of the Ghana Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty 1000 programme
(5 March 2020) Ghana’s flagship social protection programme, LEAP provides bi-monthly cash payments to extremely poor households in all districts of the country. In addition to the cash transfer, LEAP offers free registration in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). In order to participate in LEAP, poor households also needed to have at least one member who was elderly, living with a disability, or an orphaned and vulnerable child. LEAP 1000 introduced an additional group for inclusion, targeting households with pregnant women and mothers with infants, to support the window of the first 1,000 days of life in order to alleviate household poverty and improve nutritional status of infants.
(27 February 2020) In September last year, the UN Secretary General announced a global call for a Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs by 2030. This appeal to governments, the UN system and all development partners, sets out a need for scaled up ambition and urgent action for the goals. UNICEF is committed to do its part, starting with efforts to improve SDG awareness, inspire action and hold leaders to account on the commitments made in the goals.
Exploring how gender equality can be achieved through social protection
(28 January 2020) UNICEF’s Office of Research—Innocenti has today launched its new five-year research programme exploring gender-sensitive and age-responsive social protection (GRASSP). Funded by the Department for International Development, the programme will examine how social protection can enhance gender equality outcomes throughout the world.
World Bank blog lists top social protection papers of 2019
(8 January 2020) A World Bank blog has included eight papers by UNICEF’s Office of Research—Innocenti and the cash transfer research collaborative, the Transfer Project, among its top social protection papers of 2019. The papers cover a wide range of topics, highlighting the variety of research being undertaken in this increasingly important area.