Meeting in Durban, South Africa for a week, delegates to the 5th World Conference on Child Labor reached an agreement on Friday, May 20, to eliminate this practice by 2025, as the Covid-19 pandemic has jeopardized the progress made so far.
The numbers are constantly increasing: 160 million children in the world are forced to work. And 60% of them are in Africa. At the opening of the summitOn Sunday, May 15, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called on delegates to take “appropriate” measures to respond to the emergency. Deadline 2025 for UN goals for sustainable developmentto abolish child labor.
After several days of debates and observations on exaggerations linked to child labor, the Durban Declaration lists a number of measures to be taken, with in particular 49 “immediate” measures, according to the terms of this declaration.
These measures include efforts to eliminate the “worst forms of child labor”, “to set up a minimum wage”, “to redouble efforts to formalize the informal economy”, “to intensify efforts to prevent and combat forced labor”, to “stop with child labor in agriculture ”, and above all to ensure that we“ keep children in school ”.
To do this, this declaration recommends “developing school infrastructure and security” in rural areas, or even recruiting qualified teachers. After approving the declarations of principle, it remains to be seen whether these recommendations are feasible in such a short time. It is not easy to achieve these goals in a context where the informal sector still dominates.
“The situation is exacerbated by crises, those created by humans and by nature. There is a causal link between child labor and climate change. »
World Conference on Child Labor in Durban: Analysis by Joni Toko Musabayana