Stats SA has published its latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QFLS) for the first quarter of 2021, showing South Africa’s unemployment rate which rose to a new record high of 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021 from 32.5% in the final quarter of 2020.
Having the highest rate since the quarterly labour force survey began in 2008, it is confusing and that a report by the United Nations International Labor Organization (UNILO) reveals that about one in every five children partakes in child labor in South Africa. This contributes to the African continent’s reputation as the highest in numbers regarding child labor.
The Child Labor Program of Action has defined child labor in South Africa as work by children under the age of 18 that is exploitative, hazardous or otherwise inappropriate for their age and detrimental to their schooling or social, mental, physical, spiritual or moral development. Here are 10 facts about child labor in South Africa.
5 Facts About Child Labor in South Africa
- In 2014, reports determined that 31,000 children of children absent from school or experiencing learning difficulties at school had suffered from work-related injuries. The number of reported injuries at work only dropped to 202,000 children in 2015.
- More than 268,000 kids living in rural areas must work hard jobs in agriculture for ridiculously low wages and terrible working conditions.
- The unemployment rate amongst children who have completed school and those who have not is equal. This leads to fewer kids attending school and more seeking work so they can make money right away. A total of 80 percent of South African children will fail to complete high school due to the necessity of working in hazardous jobs to help their families pay off living expenses.
- The Survey of Activities of Young People stated that more than 120,000 children have already participated in economic affairs in 2010. Meanwhile, another 90,000 children have suffered an injury while working a job from 2011 to 2012.
- The International Labor Organization is continuing to grow the amount of Child Labor Units and National Steering Committee to eradicate child labor in South Africa by mobilizing globally and providing knowledge locally. The goal of these committees is to gain assistance from a global outreach in acquiring the right resources to eradicate child labor, provide knowledge of what child labor is, methods on how to reduce it and instigate action plans to disperse it.
Children are suffering life-threatening injuries, missing out on getting a proper education and working hazardous jobs for little wages. In 2017, South Africa made a significant advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The government passed a Child’s Protection Act prohibiting persons convicted of child trafficking from working with children. The adoption of Phase IV of the National Child Labor Program of Action for South Africa has increased funding for the Child Support Grant to provide monthly direct cash transfers to primary caregivers who have vulnerable children. While some changes are occurring to help improve child labor laws, the South African government requires more action to minimize the harm from this list of things that child labor in South Africa has. With continued advancement, South Africa should continue to expect relief and improvement over the years with the help of The Alliance which includes 8.7 nonprofit organization is a global partnership to eradicate forced labor, modernized forms of slavery and human trafficking around the world. Its efforts have reduced the number of sex trafficking acts in South Africa along with working toward getting children out of hazardous working conditions.
Rising unemployment and high food prices during the Covid-19 pandemic have pushed many South African households even deeper into poverty putting children at even greater risk of food insecurity and systematic violence. This is a rude and scary awakening for child health and public health experts, the community at large and as Ngos that are involved in the community SA commemorates Child Protection Week.