The child labour situation in Africa remains a great concern. Despite unprecedented levels of awareness, commitment, political will and action to end child labour at continental, regional and national level, Africa has seen an increase in both the number and percentage of children in child labour since 2012. There are now more children in child labour in Africa than in the rest of the world combined.
Child labour’s major root causes include widespread poverty linked to the predominance of subsistence farming and the informal economy, poor access to social services such as quality education and health care, vulnerability to external shocks in the absence of adequate social protection and social safety nets, and socio-cultural factors such as gender roles and inequality. Precarious migration, conflict and disruptions linked to climate change are additional risk factors. In many countries, the different factors are compounded by demographic dynamics. Institutional factors such as inadequate laws and weak law enforcement constitute additional underlying causes.
This session provides a forum for African stakeholders to discuss continental-specific challenges as well as policy priorities and strategic partnerships to end child labour in Africa, in particular access to quality universal education, social protection, decent work for adults, school to work transition, large scale action in the rural and agricultural sector and financing.
Progress against child labour has stalled and on current trends SDG target 8.7 will be missed. Action is urgently needed to regain momentum and accelerate progress.