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Africa : 41% of children are economically active on the continent

Africa has the highest number of working children. According to the International Labor Organization, 41% of children on the continent are economically active. A situation caused by poverty, limited access to basic social services, natural disasters, poor governance, among others. In order to effectively combat child labour, the African Union intends to strengthen social protection, access to education and vocational training.

In Africa, child labor is a major factor that hinders social development. In Rwanda, for example, there are an estimated 400,000 economically active children, while in Zimbabwe this figure stands at about 5 million children aged 5 to 17. In its Agenda 2040, the African Union prioritizes the eradication of this phenomenon.

The African Union has many instruments. We have the Charter on Human and Peoples’ rights, the Charter on the Rights and Welfare of Children, we also have the committee that works on children’s issues and our strategy and its ten-year action plan. Texts exist at the national, regional and continental levels. We must harmonize these texts without appropriating them, inserting them into the national domain to enable us to fight against the worst forms of child labour.

Minata Cessouma Samate, African Union Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Burkina Faso

Africa has the highest number of economically active children. According to the International Labor Organization, 41% of children on the continent, or more than 92 million work, and an average of more than 30% of children between the ages of 10 and 14 are agricultural workers. Data from the institution show that sub-Saharan Africa has more than 48 million economically active children.The inclusive development of agriculture and rural development, as well as the equitable sharing of natural resources are essential to address the problem of child labor in Africa. My department will continue to support these key issues across the continent because eradicating child labor especially in the domaine of agriculture is more urgent than ever to achieve a prosperous Africa.

The inclusive development of agriculture and rural development, as well as the equitable sharing of natural resources are essential to address the problem of child labor in Africa. My department will continue to support these key issues across the continent because eradicating child labor especially in the domaine of agriculture is more urgent than ever to achieve a prosperous Africa.

Josefa SACKO, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Sustainable Environment Angola

On the continent, about 120,000 children under the age of 18 are child soldiers or sex slaves. Several factors explain the persistence of child labor in Africa. The African Union indicates, in particular, the death of parents, extreme poverty and poor governance. The covid 19 crisis and socio-economic difficulties have reportedly increased these figures in recent months. 

We are committed to putting everything in place to increase access to education, quality teaching and technology. My department will work with the private sector for the transformation of the innovation sector. The African Union will participate in the elimination of child labor and will prioritize the following actions: reduce the number of children who are out of school through scholarships and alternative programs for the acquisition of learning skills and encourage the establishment of school feeding programs to combat malnutrition and promote quality learning.

Mohamed Belhocine, African Union Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Algeria

In recent years, the African Union has been committed to promoting education and respect for the rights of children. The institution intends to improve access to education, social protection, the sharing of experience and to strengthen the mobilization of social actors, as well as capacities in terms of vocational training, in a bid to put an end to child labour. 

Agenda

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