Studies show that children are working harder and studying less

Photo: Educa Mais Brasil Agency

Agência Educa Mais Brasil – Every child has the right to play, go to school and learn to read and write. However, for many of them this is not part of the reality. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the number of children and adolescents performing informal work has increased by 8.4 million in the last four years.

This situation raises an important warning, after all, there are at least 160 million young children in child labor worldwide. And if nothing is done to reduce the situation, another 8.9 million young people are at risk of entering informal work by the end of the year.

As soon as the work progresses, the policies come to a standstill. Report Child Labor: Global Estimates 2020, Trends and Road Progress Focuses on the fact that progress toward the end of childhood has stalled for the first time in 20 years.

The report further warns that 79 million children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 17 engage in hazardous activities that could harm their health, safety or morals. Also, about 28% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 and 35% of boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 14 are out of school in this situation.

“We are losing ground in the fight against child labor and last year we did not make it easy. We urge the government and international development banks to prioritize investments in programs that can take children and adolescents out of the workforce into school and into social security programs that can help families avoid this choice. First, “said Henrietta Four, Executive Director of UNICEF

The need to work leads to school dropouts

The sooner an individual enters the labor market, the lower his or her adult income will be, as indicated by the National Plan for the Prevention and Elimination of Child Labor and the Protection of Adolescent Workers. However, the reality experienced by the poorest segment of the population reflects the inequality of access to education, leading to another problem: school dropouts.

Lack of education rarely breaks down poverty in families, leading to a cycle that repeats itself in other generations, as children involved in child labor repeat family patterns without sufficient knowledge to change their lives.

According to a report by Todos Pela Educação, in Brazil, in 2021, about 244,000 children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 14 were out of school. The estimate represents a 171% increase over 2019, when 90,000 children were out of school. For Gabriel Correa, head of education policy at Todos pela Educação, “what will happen in the coming months and years in response to manpower is the future of these children and youth and, consequently, the future of Brazil.”

39.1% of young Brazilians drop out of school because of the need to work early, either because of parental pressure or because of their own initiative to help their family. In order to overcome this situation, a number of initiatives are being taken by academics, educational institutions, government and non-government initiatives as strategies.

In Sao Paulo, for example, human resources professional Silvana Cotrim dedicated herself to attending her municipal school to talk about the importance of education for a better future. Like him, other people join because. In 2020, the NGO Sonho Grand took the initiative to send textbooks with inspiration to more than 15,000 students in Goas to prevent school dropouts during the epidemic, and the impact of interventions to reduce dropout rates was 43.7%.

Among the global reach initiatives, the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development indicates that “signatory countries must focus on priorities to transform the world.” Its objectives include: ensuring inclusive and quality education with access to education for all, and creating economic growth with full employment and decent work to promote social justice.

Ways to prevent child labor

The fight against child labor is an urgent need which requires the efforts of the government, the population, the institutions and so on. Although the situation is fragile, some measures are within the reach of every citizen, as noted by the NGO Childfund Brasil:

– Do not encourage children to make financial contributions such as begging or paying for goods and services, as many parents use them as an emotional appeal to gain people’s sympathy.

– Report it! There are channels through which you can condemn and promote the fight against child labor, such as Dial 100, whose calls are free and anonymous, or 0800 644 3444. Another way is to fill out an online form provided by the National Council of Work. Judgment. In addition to these options, it is also possible to report to your city’s Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE), parent council or the regional labor office attached to the Department of Social Assistance.

– Contribute to reputable organizations working against child labor. Many of them, from the third sector, meet the needs of social vulnerabilities. Before that, research the organization, its history, its initiatives, and its affiliates.

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