Empowering Thousands of Children as Workers in a Pandemic Period – Some of the articles that we will provide are articles that we summarize from trusted sources, here are some articles that discuss the empowerment of children as workers during a pandemic.
“By 2020, poverty is projected to increase to 12.4%, so around 11 million children from vulnerable households have the potential to become child laborers (The SMERU Reserch Institute). This is a serious problem, considering that by 2030, as many as 70% of the next generation’s children are targeted to be productive generations who work in sectors according to their respective interests. But now, especially during the pandemic, there are still many children who are victims of violence, exploitation and trafficking. This problem arises not only because of the impact of non-natural disasters, but also has implications for economic and social problems in children, “said the Deputy Assistant. For the Protection of Children from Violence and Exploitation, PPPA Ministry, Valentina Gintings in the Webinar on Preventing Economic Exploitation of Children during the Covid-19 Pandemic (28/7).
Data on the Profile of Indonesian Children in 2019, shows that there are 10 provinces in Indonesia that have a child labor rate above the national average, including West Sulawesi 16.76%, Southeast Sulawesi 15.28%, Papua 14.46%, Nusa East Southeast 13.33%, North Sumatra 13.38%, Central Sulawesi 12.74%, South Sulawesi 12.45%, Bali 11.57%, West Nusa Tenggara 11%, and Gorontalo 10.97%. “These provinces also have a large number of school dropouts. This shows that children who drop out of school are very vulnerable to being employed, on the other hand, children who are employed are also prone to dropping out of school, ”Valentina explained.
Valentina added that the main cause of children dropping out of school, namely because of the poverty factor that suppresses and hinders the fulfillment of children’s education, so that the requirements to be able to continue school cannot be fulfilled. Not to mention when children work automatically because their parents invite them to help the family’s economy, eventually the children don’t want to go to school anymore. “This problem cannot be implemented without a joint synergy from all parties. To that end, the Ministry of PPPA has implemented a policy to strengthen global commitment through sustainable development or SDG 8.7: A Future Without Child Labor, namely ending and eliminating all forms of child slavery, child trafficking and child labor. Let us together ensure that these things can be achieved by 2030, ”said Valentina.
In addition, Deputy for Child Protection, Nahar said that through the meeting, it is hoped that it can encourage efforts to detect, identify, and strengthen synergies in preventing and dealing with cases of exploitation of children, especially in the economic aspects related to child labor and other forms of child labor. “We cannot do this alone because it involves various aspects. For this reason, we invite all parties to, apart from protecting their respective families, also remain focused on protecting Indonesian children from exploitation in various aspects that threaten children. Let us together provide special protection so that children are protected from economic and sexual exploitation, through prevention efforts so that children do not become victims. If we involve or allow children to be exploited, then we will certainly be faced with various criminal regulations, “said Nahar.
Nahar said that according to the direction of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, the prevention and elimination of child labor is one of the priority tasks of the Ministry of PPPA, which is implemented in the Strategic Plan Design for Reducing Child Labor 2020-2024, by involving families, schools and the community to evaluate existing policies, mainstreaming policies to related Ministries / Agencies, building partnerships, increasing community awareness regarding the importance of schools for children, improving children’s skills education, developing social security programs for children and their families, increasing community understanding of new values and norms related to child labor; improve the reporting system and complaint services that are integrated, responsive, and there is synergy in handling cases; as well as undertaking major reforms in the management of child labor cases so that they can be done quickly, integrated and comprehensively.
In this series of events, the Head of Sub-Directorate for Supervision of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL), Ministry of Manpower (Kemenaker), Tundjung Rijanto revealed that the problem of child labor is a complex problem, with the main cause being poverty. “Basically, children want to go to school instead of working, it’s just that they are in an impossible condition. For this reason, we continue to strive and are committed to targeting the elimination of child labor, especially related to the worst forms of child labor in order to support efforts to realize a child labor-free Indonesia by 2022.
Various efforts made by the Ministry of Manpower to eliminate child labor and WFCL, namely implementing the PPA-PKH Program in 2008, by attracting child workers from very poor households and dropping out of school to be returned to the education unit through providing assistance at shelters. Until 2019, PPA-PKH had attracted 134,456 child workers. “In 2020, we are working with related Ministries / Agencies, NGOs concerned with child labor and the business world, with a target to attract 9,000 child workers from their workplaces,” said Tundjung.
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On the same occasion, the National Program Officer of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Irham Saifuddin said from the short report “Covid-19 and child labor: A time of crisis, a time to act” it was revealed that the world has achieved success together with the reduction of child labor. as many as 94 million more over the last 2 decades. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has not only reversed the success achieved so far, even millions of children are at risk of returning to work in pandemic conditions that endanger them.
“The commitment at the global level so far has been very high. To make a major contribution as members of the ILO, we have a responsibility to report on these issues at the global level. The ILO in collaboration with UNICEF recommended several things to be included in government policies, namely the need for a well-coordinated response as a commitment to prevent and eliminate child labor during a pandemic; poverty alleviation through access to credit and cash assistance to poor families; encourage the elimination of school fees, given additional tuition fees and subsidies for uniforms, books, transportation; social protection for the most vulnerable groups; carry out labor inspection and law enforcement in the prevention of child labor; and carrying out social dialogue between the government, employers ‘and workers’ organizations, and children, “said Irham.
The Chairperson of the Jokato Village Children Forum, Lumajang Regency, East Java Province, Rizky Dwi Saputra, revealed that there are several factors that influence children to become child laborers, one of which is that children are not busy because several schools were closed during this pandemic. “When they have no activities, they finally choose to join their parents to help work in the garden. Following up on this, our children’s forum creates a special program to fill children’s time with positive activities, namely playing and learning that emphasizes character education. With the FAD program, children will be busy during a pandemic like this. We can also reduce child labor, “concluded Rizky.