Child labour in livestock is widespread and largely ignored, accordingly to Food and Organization’s recent publication,Children's work in the livestock sector: Herding and beyond – the first global study on the subject. Noting that agriculture accounts for the highest proportion of global child labour across economic sectors (60% as per ILO statistics), the report points out that livestock accounts for some 40 percent of the agricultural economy and 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 report sustains that hazardous or potentially harmful work for children in the livestock sector has received less attention than child labour in other areas of agriculture, where much more has been done by international organizations, governments, civil society and rural families to address the problem.
The International Conference on Child Labour in Agriculture, organised by Global March Against Child Labour in July 2012, also recognised the need to tackle child labour in various neglected sub-sectors of agriculture, specifically livestock and fisheries wherein less attention has been paid in addressing the worst forms of child labour. Highlighting a serious data and knowledge gap of child labour in different agricultural sub-sectors, the Conference recommended collection of dis-aggregated data and knowledge at national and global level on child labour in the sub-sectors to guide policy and action. Given this, the FAO report is a welcome step forward in this direction.
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