COVID-19 and Child Labour in Myanmar

Working with Kantar Public Information Myanmar, the International Labour Organization conducted remote fieldwork to understand the impact that COVID-19 has had – and will continue to have – on the incidence and dynamics of child labour in Myanmar. The study took place between July 2020 and January 2021 in six states and regions: Ayeyarwady Region, Bago Region, Kayin State, Mon State, Shan State and Yangon Region.

Overall, 1,091 surveys were conducted with parents and children in low-income households, along with 20 surveys and 19 interviews with community leaders, as well as discussions with six policy-makers and five representatives of the media. The findings – summarized here – highlight a clear risk for increased child labour linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. The added strain put upon families, disruptions to household income and livelihoods, and the increased vulnerability of children being coerced into both paid and unpaid labour are issues that require urgent attention.