Half of Ethiopia’s children work, according to survey

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Just over half of Ethiopia’s 42.6 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 are working, sometimes causing them to miss out on their education, according to a survey from the Central Statistical Agency (CSA), on child labor. The report also states that a large majority live in Amhara and Oromia.
At the time the survey was taken Ethiopia had a population of 87.7 million including 37.3 million children.  Of these children 30.4 percent were working while attending school and 20.6 percent were working without attending school at all; only 30.9 percent of the children were completely focused on school.  There are reportedly 18.1 percent of children that do not attend school or work. Of all people seeking work, according to the study, 64.1 percent were between the ages of 14 and 17.
The survey estimates that about 26.5 million children between 5 and 17 work as household servants doing chores like babysitting, cleaning, cooking, shopping and caring for sick people. Girls are more likely to perform these jobs. Of children who work, 65.4 percent were between the 14 and 17 and 41.7 percent were between 5 and 11.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors employ 89.4 percent of children. Many also work in wholesale and retail trades including fixing cars and motorcycles.
Based on the survey’s findings, the largest share of the working children (153,882 of 275,021 that the survey sampled) give all or part of their earnings to their parents or guardians. A large number of them (72,887) said they wanted to save their earnings. These were the youth’s most common plans.
It is estimated that 23 percent of all the children that are working engage in work considered hazardous. Very few of the children said they were working to learn new skills most said they were working to help their family.
Although it was rolled out last week at Capital Hotel, the survey was conducted between May and June of 2015. There were 550 interviewers. The study’s sample size included 21,526 children between the ages of 5 and 17.
CSA conducted the research in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and technical and financial support from the international Labor Organization.