The United Nations has revealed that Child Labour in Yemen is at alarming levels.UN International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Social Development Fund on Wednesday revealed that of the country’s 7.7 million children in the 5-17 age group, 17 per cent are working, with many performing unpaid work.
“The survey reveals the alarming extent to which Yemeni children are deprived of their rights,” said ILO’s Regional Director for the Arab States, Nada al-Nashif. “The protection of Yemen’s children must be a priority for the international community. Yemen’s development depends on it.”
In addition to the 1.3 million child labourers, the report finds that more than 300,000 children aged 14 to 17 work in conditions and activities considered suitable for their age.
The report goes on to state that working children and child labourers are far more likely than others to skip or drop out of school. It also stresses that widespread poverty, population pressure, political instability and limited opportunities for employment outside agriculture have a significant impact in their livelihoods.
In a news release, ILO noted that Yemen has ratified its two key conventions on child labour accepting that 14 is the minimum age for employment, and recognizing that children under the age of 18 cannot be employed in hazardous work.