Financial crisis could push more girls into child labour, UN agency warns

Home for street girls in Saigon, Viet Nam

10 June 2009 – The financial crisis threatens to push more children – especially girls – into child labour, the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a new report.

Despite falling numbers of children involved in child labour worldwide, the current economic turmoil could roll back those gains, according to the new study, entitled “Girls a Chance: Tackling child labour, a key to the future,” issued ahead of the World Day Against Child Labour to be celebrated on 12 June.

Most recent estimates indicate that over 100 million girls are involved in child labour, with many exposed to its worst forms, according to the report.

It also notes that the danger of girls being forced into labour is linked to evidence that families in many nations prefer boys when making decisions on children’s education.

“Protecting girls – and all children – from child labour calls for integrated responses that include jobs for parents, and social protection measures that help them to keep both girls and boys in school,” said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. “Access to basic education and training for girls and boys must also be part of the solutions for the future.”

Events will be held in 50 countries to celebrate the World Day through events music performances, conferences and other public events.

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