Child labour is a phenomenon that is widespread in the world. For its elimination, the United Nations General Assembly has decided to declare 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. It also recently adopted a resolution, in which it has asked the International Labor Organization (ILO) to take the lead in the implementation of strategies against child labour.
The resolution highlights the commitments of all member states on the measures they must take to end child slavery and human trafficking and to stop and eliminate the worst forms of their work, including the recruitment of child soldiers, the aim is to have all forms eradicated within the next 4 years.
In Albania, the situation of child labour is manifested by street children, who are forced to beg, to children working in various businesses in the black economy and who are not identified. Based on current data of national and international organizations:
• Over 50,000 children work in light and heavy work to ensure the survival of their families.
• Over 2600 children in Albania beg and be homeless.
Most child labour is in the agricultural and household sectors. However, complete data on the numbers of child laboure’s are missing. This data becomes more difficult to identify, given the ambiguous definition used by the High Labour Inspectorate on child labour. This fact leads us to believe that the phenomenon of working children and children living on the street are on a much larger scale than what is known or visible.
CRCA / ECPAT Albania has been engaged for 24 years in the fight to eliminate child labour.
Altin Hazizaj, Director of CRCA / ECPAT Albania highlights that "The proclamation of 2021 as a year for the elimination of child labor, further increases our responsibility and commitment to work to eliminate child labor."
In Albania, there are no social and support programs that address the problems in this sector as important for a country as harmful and exploitative for children. The situation remains dire, as in our country family and child support services, which must provide basic food or attend school for free, are completely negligible and inadequate.
Child labour is a phenomenon both local and global. 152 million children aged 5-17 worldwide are still exploited in child labor, including 73 million in hazardous labor. Almost half of child labor victims (48 percent) are aged 5-11; 28 percent were 12-14 years old; and 24 percent were 15-17 years old.