The coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of the world’s poorest children to halt their educations and go to work to help support their families, as schools have closed and parents’ incomes have fallen or vanished.
The children do work that is arduous, dirty and often dangerous: hauling bricks or gravel, scavenging for recyclables, begging or chopping weeds on plantations. Much of their employment is illegal.
It is a catastrophic shift for some of the world’s most vulnerable people, undoing years of gains for education and against child labor, and undermining their prospects of climbing out of poverty. Countless promising students