Impact of the pandemic

  • The coronavirus pandemic is forcing India’s children out of school and into farms and factories to work, worsening a child-labour problem that was already one of the direst in the world.
  • The Covid-19 crisis has brought additional poverty to these already vulnerable populations and may reverse years of progress in the fight against child labour- ILO
  • The nationwide lockdown imposed, pushed millions of people into poverty, which is encouraging trafficking of children from villages into cities for cheap labour.
  • School closures have aggravated the situation and many millions of children are working to contribute to the family income. The pandemic has also made women, men and children more vulnerable to exploitation.
  • According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) some 25 million people could lose their jobswith those in informal employment suffering most from lack of social protection during this pandemic.
  • As per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s (CMIE) weekly tracker survey, the impact of COVID-19 has already pushed the urban unemployment rate to 30.9%
  • Orphaned children are particularly vulnerable to trafficking and other exploitation like forced begging, or child labour. In such families, there is also the likelihood of older children dropping out of school to support their younger siblings.
  • Children are seen as a stop-gap measure to fill jobs left vacant by migrant laborers who fled cities for their rural homes during the lockdown.
  • A total of 591 children were rescued from forced work and bonded labour from different parts of India during the lockdown by Bachpan Bachao Andolan, a civil society group on children’s rights