Conflict and mass displacement increase child labour: findings from the first global report on child labour in the Arab States
Conflict and crisis in the Middle East and North Africa has led to an increase in child labour across the region, including in children’s involvement in armed conflict and other illicit activities, a new report finds.
Commissioned by the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Arab Council for Childhood Development (ACCD), the “Child Labour in the Arab Region: A Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis ” report is the first to provide an overview of the profile and trends of child labour in the League’s 22 member states. “Over the past ten years, during which the region has witnessed high levels of armed conflict resulting in the mass displacement of populations – both within and between countries – the situation has certainly worsened,” the report states.
The study reports that children in parts of the Arab region “have been increasingly drawn into the worst forms of child labour and face serious and worrying exploitation, abuse and violation of their rights.”Child labour in the Arab region is mostly found in agriculture, followed by services and industry. “Agriculture accounts for more than half of children in employment in countries such as Yemen, Sudan and Egypt. Child labour is also on the rise among refugees and internally displaced populations, as well as among host communities in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
The study concludes with recommendations to the 22 LAS member states to improve their governance frameworks, especially by aligning national legislation with international legal standards, and ensuring the effective enforcement of child labour laws and regulations.