A significant proportion of the 168 million children engaged in child labour live in areas affected by conflicts and disasters, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said on Monday.

The figure was given by the Director-General of the organisation, Mr Guy Ryder, in report issued in commemoration of the 2017 World Day against Child Labour.

He said: “Globally, over 1.5 billion people live in countries that are affected by conflict and violence. Also, about 200 million people are affected by disaster every year. A third of them are children”.  

According to him, conflicts and disasters have a devastating impact on people’s lives as it kills, maims, injures, forces people to flee their homes, destroys livelihoods while pushing people into poverty and starvation.

He said it is regrettable that conflict and disaster trap people in situations where their basic human rights are being violated. 

“Children are often the first to suffer as schools are destroyed and basic services are disrupted. Many children are internally displaced or become refugees in other countries.

“The children are vulnerable to trafficking and child labour. Millions of children are pushed into child labour by conflicts and disasters.’’

He wants countries to join hands to end child labour by 2025.