Child labor is only one element of an impending global catastrophe. Severe hunger stalks children from Afghanistan to South Sudan. Forced marriages of girls are on the rise in Africa and Asia, according to UN officials, as is child trafficking. Data from Uganda showed teenage pregnancies on the rise during school closures linked to the pandemic. Aid workers in Kenya said many families send their teenage girls into prostitution to feed the family.
Other aspects of the company have been allowed to reopen. Why, ask defenders of frustrated children, that bars, gymnasiums, restaurants and subway systems are functioning now, but not schools?
Mr Williams said leaders who “really believe in education” should use these resources in schools, and he wondered why they aren’t.
“Is it because adults have free will and have the strongest voice – and the power to vote?” He asked.
In Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, 14-year-old Surlina paints herself silver to resemble a statue and hangs out around a gas station with an outstretched hand. Her mother is a maid and her father sold small sculptures before the pandemic robbed her of a job. At the end of each day, she gives her earnings to her mother, who supplies her with the painting, and to her two siblings, 11 and 8.