Children’s work in the livestock sector: Herding and beyond
FAO has published the first global study on child labour issues related to livestock. The study, Children's work in the livestock sector: Herding and beyond, points out that agriculture accounts for most of the reported child labour in the world, and livestock accounts for some 40 percent of the agricultural economy. The study explains that, depending on their exact duties, children in the livestock sector are at risk of disrupted physical, mental, moral and social development. Working closely with livestock increases the risk of animal-related diseases; direct injury from tools or animal bites; health problems caused by working long hours in extreme weather conditions; poor sanitation and hygiene; injury from chemical products and in some cases, psychological stress resulting from fear of punishment, cattle raiders, or a sense of responsibility for family capital. Efforts to curb child labour will require getting governments, farmer organizations and rural families directly involved in finding alternatives to practices which often reflect the need for survival.
The findings of the publication are expected to feed into the 3rd Global Conference on Child Labour, to be held in Brazil in October.