The Covid lost generation

Millions of children have had to drop out of school due to the global recession caused by Covid. The result: an increase in child labor and early marriage.

Traveling miles under a blazing sun to sell mangoes, spending 12 to 13 hours a day repairing punctured inner tubes or breaking rocks in a quarry… Emilienne (13), Roger (13) and Marc (15) never imagined they’d have to provide meals for their families so quickly. The economic recession linked to Covid plunged their families into extreme poverty, cutting them off from school. Like 24 million children worldwide, according to Unesco, they are school dropped out.

And once they’re out of school, threats that have been on the wane for years come back: child labor, gender-based violence and early marriage. Unicef predicts that covid will be responsible for 10 million early marriages by 2030. Emilienne’s grandmother is already talking about marrying her off in a year or two… while the young girl dreams of going back to school.


Cécile Bontron journaliste

Laurent Weyl photojournaliste