The suffering of children of Gaza dominated the symposium “The Impact of Climate Change on Child Labor in the Arab Region,” which was held in cooperation between the League of Arab States, the Arab Labor Organization, the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND), and the Arab Council for Childhood and Development.
This came on the side lines of the climate summit (COP28), which was held on Friday in Dubai.
The meeting focused its discussions on the suffering of the children of Gaza, and the killing and violence that the Palestinian child is exposed to, contrary to all international conventions and laws concerned with human rights, and in light of double standards exercised by the major powers in the world.
The attendees stressed their support for all decisions aimed at supporting and protecting the Palestinian child, calling for the importance of conducting a regional study on the impact of the Gaza war, such as burning, destruction, and leveling of land, and the environmental degradation that this may cause in the region and its repercussions on children.
The meeting aimed to shed light on the impact of climate change on the issue of child labor, and formulating a set of recommendations and interventions that enhance adaptation to climate change according to approaches consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in recognition that the climate crisis is more than just a growing threat, but rather a Life threatening reality.
It also highlighted involvement of children in the labor market - and their families, their futures, and thus their societies. United Nations figures confirmed the presence of 160 million working children (a tenth of the world’s children), including about 79 million children working under exploitative conditions.
Expert Elie Mikhael, a professor at the Lebanese University, presented a working paper on “The impact of these climate changes on child labor in the Arab region.” The paper showed the negative effects of climate changes on children’s rights in a way that threatens their health, education, survival and future.