Yemen: Child labour increases on the back of instability

More than 1.3 million children in Yemen are involved in child labour, including 469,000in the 5-11 age group, a new study shows. This means 17 per cent of Yemen’s 7.7 million children in the 5-17 age group and 11 per cent of those aged 5-11 are involved in child labour. These were the findings of an ILO survey on the condition of child labour in the country.

In addition to the 1.3 million child labourers, more than 300,000 children aged 14 to 17work in conditions and activities considered suitable for their age. The report says that working children and child labourers are far more likely than others not to attend school or to drop out of school.

The Yemen Times reported that an increase in child labour was one of the hidden costs of the political impasse that has gripped the country since 2011. The deteriorating economy has meant many families have had to forgo education for their children and send them out to work, simple for survival.

And additional problem identified by the Yemen Times report was that more than 5000 children have been sold out of Yemen for the purposes of child labour. Some of this is the result of families looking to survive, some of it is the result of exploitative individuals using the instability of the present situation in the country to their own advantage.

The problem is complex and the solutions seem years away. In the midst of a highly unstable situation how do we pray for these children, and for families desperate to secure their survival. Wait before God and pray for children in Yemen.

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