For the first time in 20 years, the number of children in child labor jumped sharply to 160 million worldwide, with an addition of 8.4 million in the last four years.
The International Labor Organization and UNICEF further warned nine million more children may be forced into child labor by 2022 due to the impact of COVID-19.
According to the ILO, progress to end child labor has been reversed for the first time in 20 years from the previous downward trend that saw child labor fall by 94 million between 2000 and 2016.
Its executive summary, titled “Child Labor: Global estimates 2020, trends and the road forward,” showed that children aged 5 to 11 in child labor now account for just over half of the total global figure.
It also showed the number of children aged 5 to 17 years in hazardous work – defined as work that is likely to harm their health, safety or morals – has risen by 6.5 million to 79 million since 2016.