By: Ibrahim Mahmoud
Statistics show that the numbers of working children in Yemen have increased, despite the rise of unemployed youth. A field survey showed that more than one million children in Yemen are working in dangerous jobs that threaten their lives. The report added that children between 5 and 17 years old form 34.3% of population, 21% of which are working children. Statistics also show that employment rates increased for the oldest children, reaching 39.1% of children between 15 and 17 years old.
According to the survey results, male children in labor market reach 21.7% while females’ rates reach 20.1%. “Economic activity for children between 5 and 17 years old are more noticeable for the male children,” added the survey. It also noted that 56% of working children work in the agricultural sector while 26% of them work in housing. “8% of them work in trade and 2% work in factories.
The average monthly income for working children is almost $80 dollars, while only some of them receive extra benefits including food and housing. The survey showed that 50% of children work in hazardous occupations and 12% of them work for long hours. “Their work is not attributed to the absence of parents or their educational levels” added the survey.
International reports show that children working in Yemen increase by 3% every year. Yemeni experts also stated that defeating this phenomenon requires providing those children with educational opportunities as well as punishing families that encourage their children to work. They also demanded establishing centers across the country to rehabilitate working children and update the laws related to their cases. According to these experts, authorities should provide healthy and safe environments for working children and eliminate their work in dangerous occupations.