June 2017 Report
The World Bank is accused of funding agricultural projects in Uzbekistan that are linked to state-sponsored child labour and forced labour in the cotton industry. Human Rights Watch and the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights said they documented systematic forced labour and cases of child labour in an area where the Uzbek government is implementing a World Bank-funded irrigation project.
Uzbekistan has faced sustained criticism over its use of mandatory manual labour in its national cotton industry. The government stands accused of the mass enforced mobilisation of people to work as unpaid labourers during harvest and planting seasons.
A recent project tackling child labour in the tobacco industry has seen success in increasing school attendance of former child labourers. The project, “Prevention of Child labour and Rural Development in Tobacco Growing Villages of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka”, is focused on development of school infrastructure, income-generation activities and awareness-building.
The programme, executed by the voluntary organisation ASSIST, has resulted in some 8,000 children from 34 communities in 30 villages attending school regularly, thus moving out of the farm workforce, according to IPM India, the wholesale trading arm of Philip Morris International, which supports the project.
The Telegraph featured a report, The Stolen Childhood, commissioned by Save the Children, discussing the issue of child marriages. According to the report a child bride is married every 7 seconds with 40 million teenage girls between 15 and 19 currently married worldwide.
Child marriage occurs in a number of countries, particularly Niger, where 60 per cent of girls aged between 15 and 19 are married. It can have devastating effects forcing girls into adulthood and motherhood before they are mentally ready and often depriving them of any opportunity to gain a decent education and self-fulfilment. The Stolen Childhoods report also found that 17 million girls give birth every year, with 90 per cent of these births happening within marriage or a union.
The Burmese [Myanmar] government has taken the first step to address the rampant problem of child labour throughout the country by drafting a five-year National Action Plan to eliminate child labour according to a report from DVB. There are some 1.3 million child labourers in Burma, according to the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, but the real number is estimated to be much higher. In Burma, the minimum legal working age is 14.
The five-year National Action Plan aims to collect data, raise awareness, improve quality education, better enforce the law and prevent children from entering into the worst forms of child labour.
According to local new agency, Ghana News, two million children are affected by child labour in the country. The recent Ghana Labour Standards Survey (GLSS-6) has shown that 21.8% (1.9 million children) between 5 and 17 years out of 8 million nationwide are engaged in child labour.
An article from the Khaleej Times states that as many as 8 million children in the region have been forced to flee their homes, with the crises in Syria, Yemen and Iraq responsible for almost a third of all global displacement last year. Childhood is the biggest casualty in conflict-torn zones and affected children are out of school, increasing the risk of early marriage, child labour and recruitment into armed groups. The growing risk of a 'lost generation' of children is likely to have a devastating impact on the region's future development and stability