“El Nino driving child marriage & labour across southern Africa”
On July 20, 2016, Thomson Reuters Foundation's Katy Migiro published an article highlighting the impact of El Nino on child marriage and labor in southern Africa.
Tens of thousands of children across southern Africa are being pushed out of school and into early marriage or child labour because of drought and hunger caused by the El Nino weather pattern, charities said on Wednesday.
Southern Africa has been hard hit over the past year by an El Nino-inspired drought that has wilted crops, slowed economic growth and driven food prices higher.
Increased numbers of children are trading sex and doing domestic work to survive across nine countries, a report by World Vision, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Plan International said.
"El Nino's impacts are worsening the lives of children in a number of areas with many facing sexual exploitation, violence, child labour and psychosocial distress," World Vision UK's child rights expert Tracy Shields said in a statement.
Children have become separated from their families as they leave home to find work or food, the report said.
More than 60 million people, two thirds of them in east and southern Africa, are facing food shortages because of droughts linked to El Nino, a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, according to the United Nations.