The African region has launched the year 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour and mobilisation of stakeholders to support the African Union (AU) 10 years Action Plan on Child Labour, Forced Labour, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), in 2016, a fifth of African children, about 72 million were in child labour, while nearly half of them were in hazardous work.
The continent had both the largest number of child labourers and the highest proportion of children in child labour among the major world regions, the ILO said.
The International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, 2021, declared by the UN General Assembly, is a historic opportunity to reaffirm commitments, take action and inspire broad partnerships to preserve the progress made on child labour and related issues such as social justice, inclusion and the reduction of inequalities.
In February 2020, African Heads of States adopted the 10 year Action Plan to Eradicate Child Labour, Forced Labour, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery between year 2020 and 2030.
The plan provides an immediate framework for mobilizing African Union institutions, member states, Regional Economic Commissions (RECs) and other partners on the continent to scale up efforts and accelerate progress towards the achievement of the AU Agenda 2063 and target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The ILO, however stated that in 2021, while fighting child labour, forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery, Africa and the global community will need to address the challenges posed by COVID-19.
In this regards, the African Union in collaboration with the International Labour launched the International Year 2021 in Africa and engage stakeholders to accelerate the implementation of the African Union 10 years Action Plan on Eradication of Child Labour, Forced Labour, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in Africa by 2030.
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