The financial crisis could force more girls into work as financially squeezed families withdraw their daughters from school to seek jobs, warns the International Labour Organization in a report released on 12 June, World Day Against Child Labour.
“The root cause of child labour is poverty”, report author, Patrick Quinn told IRIN. "There is a strong likelihood that girls will be sent into work as families cannot afford school fees and need their children to help support them.”
Poverty in many developing countries is expected to increase with decreases in aid, remittances, export revenue and foreign direct investment.
Already, some 55 percent of the 75 million children not enrolled in primary school are girls, partly because families value male over female education, says the ILO.
When girls drop out of school they are more vulnerable to a number of risks, including early marriage and teenage pregnancy, according to UNICEF.
Girls account for approximately 46 percent of child workers worldwide, with 53 million girls estimated to be engaged in hazardous work such as mining, trafficking, or sex work, according to 2006 ILO research.
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