The twin challenges of child labour and your employment in the Arab states

ILO Regional Office for the Arab States


The issues of child labour and youth marginalisation are closely linked, pointing to the need for common policy approaches to addressing them. Youth employment outcomes are typically worst for former child labourers and other early school-leavers, groups with the least opportunity to accumulate the human capital needed for gainful employment. Indeed, today’s jobless or inadequately employed youth are often yesterday’s child labourers. The link between child labour and labour market outcomes can also operate in the other direction: the poor labour market prospects of youth can reduce the incentive of households to invest in education earlier in the lifecycle. The child and youth populations also overlap - young persons above the minimum age of employment but below the age of majority are still legally children and therefore need to be protected from child labour.

This Report examines the related issues of child labour and youth marginalisation in the Arab States. It focuses in particular on the non-rich countries and territories covered by the ILO Regional Office for Arab States (i.e., Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen and the Occupied Palestinian Territory). All are conflict or conflict-affected societies where concerns relating to the well-being of children and youth are acute and where better information to inform policy is needed. All are also societies that have been affected directly and indirectly by the popular movements known collectively as the Arab uprisings, and by the calls for social justice and decent work that are at the roots of these movements. The situation of children and youth in Syria since the outbreak of the war is beyond the scope of the current Report. Clearly, however, the massive disruptions and dislocations associated with the on-going political violence in the country have had a devastating impact on the country’s children and youth, and measures to mitigate this impact are urgently needed.

The cover shows a young girl pouring water in a buck
ILO Regional Office for the Arab States
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