Shaher Saad, Secretary General of the General Federation of Trade Unions of Palestine, warned that there is a widespread of the phenomenon of Palestinian child labor, in light of the economic and social crisis, and schools’ disruption due to the emergency situation and the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Saad stated on the international day against child labor that there are 65.000 Palestinian children from the age group 7-14 years working in the local labor market, and that 102.000 children under the age of eighteen have dropped of school in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, by the end of 2019, to join the local labor market.
Saad pointed out that this was a wrong attempt they did to help their families face the challenges of poverty. Most of them work in jobs that are not appropriate for their ages, such as working on farms and fields, and various industrial and food establishments.
According to Palestinian statistics, the majority of children work in the agricultural and food industries.
It is noteworthy that Palestine is one of the countries employing children before the pandemic, due to the increase in unemployment and poverty rates, and the need of Palestinian families to provide financial resources that would support their resilience. The increase in poverty rates is the main reason for the rise and propagation of such phenomenon.
The General Federation of Trade Unions of Palestine, the Palestinian society, the Palestinian government, and international institutions called for the elimination of the phenomenon of child labor due to the threat it poses to their educational and health.
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