Sunday, May 9, 2010

Child labor in Arab World

From shoeshine boys on the streets of Sana’a to underage labourers on Egyptian farms, a new UN report warns of significant levels of child labour in the Arab world and a lack of effective monitoring to tackle abuses.

Child labour monitors warn that patchy data leave Arab policymakers struggling against a problem that sees young people exposed to toxic agricultural chemicals on farms and life-threatening machinery in factories and workshops.

The UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) presents an estimate of 13.4 million child labourers – about 15 per cent of the region’s junior population – but fears the real figure could be much higher because many work off the books.

“Take Egypt as an example; it is visible to any visitor to the country that child labour is a problem. You can see it on the surface – but that doesn’t give a basis for planning,” said Frank Hagemann, the ILO’s policy chief on child labour. MORE HERE

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