A study by the International Labor Organization (ILO) has estimated that children who are less than 15 make up 50.3 percent of the whole workforce in Yemen.
The report, cited by Yemen Times on Tuesday, attributed the high percentage to illiteracy, big size of families (5-7 members in average) and the increasing poverty in the Arab country, in addition to lack of proper vocational training programs.
"Child labor is attributed to certain setbacks and the inefficient education system. The Yemeni economy suffers from the lack of handicraft and technical crafts. Studies prove that 45 percent of the labor force is illiterate while internal migration has given rise to family divisions forcing children to take to the labor market,” said Jeer Mershtad, from the ILO.
According to Yemen Times, field surveys reveal that child labor in Yemen is doubling annually due to the increasing number of poor people who, according to statistics of World Bank, are estimated at 2.6 million out of the 17.4-million population.
In cooperation with the World Labor Organization, the Yemeni Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training has produced a program that is being carried out to combat child labor in Yemen.
Sources at the labor ministry told the paper that the program has the objective of limiting the phenomenon of child labor, preventing children under 15 from working in hazardous and strenuous fields which may render them vulnerable to permanent handicaps and affect their physical and psychological health.
In order to achieve the objectives of the program, the republic is divided into three regions: coastal, agricultural and commercial. In each region a certain kind of child labor is defined. However, what happens in reality reflects the dangers of this phenomenon, posing social, cultural and economic hazards for the whole society – Albawaba.com