Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

Equality For Tomorrow

Equality For Tomorrow

Team: Jana Chazbeck, Olguinia El Ferzli, Josephine Kaadou, Haydar Hamdan and Rawane Ibrahim.

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If it cost their future, it’s not cheap labor!

If it cost their future, it’s not cheap labor!

Child labor #SDG-8 is the employment of a person who has not completed the fourteenth years of his age in any type of work or professions such as agriculture, domestic help, mining, brick kilns, and many others. We all know, the major reason of child labor is poverty #SDG-1, and it is shown in the line plot below. Poor families used to send their children to work for the sake of money and financial stability.

Do you know that 160 million children across the world are employed? Do you know that 1 out of 10 children are subject to child labor worldwide with some forced into hazardous work through trafficking? Do you know that 30 million children were obliged to live alone outside their countries of birth just for employment? There are a lot of such examples and statistics that are shocking and not acceptable! Instead of playing, studying, and growing in a healthy and safe environment, a lot of children are forced to do exhausting tasks that influence negatively their physical and mental health. This horrible reality has huge consequences on both the personal and global level. On the personal level, child laborers are exposed to violence, exploitation, physical problems, malnourishment, premature ageing, depression, and even death. Their basic human rights #SDG-16 are stolen and their future opportunities of growth and success are masked. Should I remind you about whom I am talking? And who are today’s children? They are not just the youth of our generation, but they are the future generations and the main pillars of the sustainable life in our world. When children are raised in an environment that fosters intellectual, physical and emotional development, they become responsible citizens and contribute to the development of the society and economy. On the opposite, child labor impedes an entire nation’s social and economic growth #SDG-8, as shown in the figure below. Countries that have high rates of children employment (higher than 60%) have relatively low GDP per capita and were not classified as developed countries. This correlation between child labor and economic growth is straightforward: The more children are employed, the more inexpensive and unskilled workers are in the market, thus less adoption of technologies and skilled labor contribute in low economic growth.

After highlighting all these frightful facts and consequences, I believe that there is urgent need for an immediate and effective plan that help in mitigating this cruel act. However, before planning to solve the issue, we should zoom in the world map and find out where are most of these children living, in which sectors they are working and what are their genders.

The most alarming percentages of employed children are found to be in Morocco, Pakistan, South Sudan and Burkina Faso with a percentage higher than 74%. Therefore, these countries should be our priority and starting points in our future plans. Now, when it comes to different economic sectors, the agriculture sector turned out to include the highest percentage of employed children (65.85%) compared to the services sector (25.28%) and the manufacturing sector (6.57%). Let us now study the gender of the children and see if there is also gender inequality #SDG-5 in the child labor issue.

As we can see in the figure above, the medians of the two boxplots are not aligned showing a slight difference (5%) between boys and girls when it comes to % of employment. However, this gap is not that big, meaning that we should focus on both genders equally when working on this problem.
A lot of efforts have been invested in the purpose of mitigating the child labor problem, starting from the NGO’s and UNICEF contributions up till the compulsory education policy established by governments. However, due to the Covid19 pandemic and economic crisis facing a lot of countries in the world, these efforts are not enough anymore. An increase of 8.4 million children occurred in the last four years – with millions more at risk due to the impacts of COVID-19, according to a new report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNICEF. This increase should be a wake-up alarm for us to start working fast on saving and protecting our children before it’s too late, knowing that this problem has an intergenerational persistence: child laborers become adults with children who are also child laborers.

One of the potential solutions that the governments should be implementing is to increase the educational expenditures (% of total expenditures) in order to fund the education of poor children in the public schools #SDG-4. This will help moving children from the workplace to schools, and replace the tools in their hands by books. As we can see in the line plots above, a higher percentage of at least upper secondary school attainments and a higher primary school enrollment rate help decreasing the percentage of child labor. And of course, increasing the expenditures alone is not enough without the implementation of strict accountability rules that oblige the parents to send their children to schools rather than work #SDG-8 #SDG-16.
Today, I am highlighting this message to the governments of all the countries specially Morocco, Pakistan, South Sudan and Burkina Faso. Please use all your authority and capabilities in the sake of our children! It is the time to work all together on improving this terrible reality and making this world a safer and better place for them!