"Unfavorable economic conditions in the family have sparked child exploitation and school dropouts. This is an alarming situation and could lead to a lost generation," Mattalitti noted in a statement here on Saturday.
The speaker drew attention to a UNICEF research that projected the pandemic threatening to push some two million children in Indonesia into poverty.
Many low-income families did not have long-term savings, and their economic foundations are vulnerable, he pointed out.
The speaker called on the government to formulate a strategy as a precautionary measure against the problem.
"To date, many children dropped out from their schools, married young due to economic factors, and the problem of street children. These problems should be addressed soon," he remarked.
The COVID-19 pandemic has battered the people's economy, and the condition is projected to continue this year, according to a survey of the UNDP, UNICEF, Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Economic Development (Prospera), SMERU Indonesia, and the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).
The survey involved more than 12,216 families in 34 provinces and 247 districts during the October-December 2020 period.
Children are also bearing the economic brunt of the pandemic, wherein two million Indonesian children are susceptible to poverty if the government were to halt its social aid in 2021.
The survey also found a rise of child labor during the pandemic. Children also encountered difficulties in accessing online schooling. Related news: Students pulled out of school, pushed into marriage amid pandemic
Related news: Two million children to become poverty-stricken sans social aid
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