Free 800 words essay on Child Labor for school and college students.
Modern slavery is a reality and almost 150 million children across the world suffering from this detestable and reprehensible human activity. The International Labor Organization defines child labor as work that deprives children of their childhood, potential, and dignity, thereby harming them physically and mentally. Child labor is mostly practiced in agriculture (58.6%), services (25.4%), industry (7.2%), and domestic work (6.9%). This problem is not local rather of huge global proportions. ILO after comprehensive research has resulted in the adoption of ILO Conventions related to worst forms of child labor, minimum age of admission to employment and work, Fundamental principles and right to work.
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This begins from the point where children begin to help their parents in household chores and family businesses. This work is often being defended for being instructive and productive for natural learning. However, these justifications are irrelevant as any form of labor doesn’t imply to responsibility and autonomy, on the other hand, it deprives children of their basic right to uninterrupted education. The definition of harmful while drafting legislation on the sectors is always debatable. Children are often found working in informal sectors such as collective garbage and scavenging, small-scale fishing, mining, quarrying, agriculture, commercial activities, construction, crushing stones, manufacturing, street vending, and other industrialized activities. Child domestic service is widespread and burgeoning in the Asia region.
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There are multiple problems associated with child labor. Predominantly, their payment for work is seldom guaranteed, health and safety conditions compromised, complications arising out of poverty, adverse impact on education, gender differences, sexual abuse, and spirals into a vicious cycle. The worst forms of child labor are slavery, forced labor, sale and trafficking of children, prostitution, pornography, and other illicit activities. Most of them are unacceptable. This effects that psychological health and intellectual development of children, exposing them to adult behavior.
Bonded labor and drug trafficking are the worst consequences. Docile boys and girls have to undergo sexual exploitation and there are many pieces of evidence of such international scandals. Children often end up as pawns in armed conflicts where they might be used as soldiers, suicide bombers, or messengers. They become so traumatized that rehabilitation becomes difficult. Commercial exploitation renders them vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Child agricultural workers can be easily harmed by harmful insects, pesticides, nicotine poisoning, respiratory problems, etc.
This is not a problem of third world countries, in fact, this problem persists in developed countries, especially in form of drug trafficking. Poverty is the biggest reason behind child labor, and it has become a cultural norm among poor families. It is prevalent and ubiquitous in families with low productivity per head, dysfunctional families, minority population facing social exclusion and less accessibility to education. Economic shocks too force children to get indulged in frivolous labor that eventually damages them. In worst forms, they set their foot out to pay installments for their parents’ loans, as they’re often the only available collateral.
No country can end child labor without making education compulsory. This is what reduced the child labor problem in Vietnam. Similarly, Brazil through compulsory education and income support helped combat child labor. The UNESCO World Declaration on Education for All has created a framework for providing education to all children by giving it recognition as a fundamental right, ensuring legislative commitment, enhancing competencies, etc. The government must work to curriculum improvement projects, changing the approach to teaching, redesigning educational programmes, strictly monitoring law and order to avoid any delinquencies of local administration responsible to oversee children’s affairs, provide vocational education to bypass exploitation, and most importantly assign requisite finances for such implementation.
There is a need to employ a gender-sensitive approach while attempting to solve the menace of child labor. The social differences and expectations vary with gender. Women often fall into the hands of traffickers and sexual exploiters, pushed into domestic work and always kept at a disadvantage. Women must be engaged in community sensitization. Other essential steps are the promotion of capacity building and incorporation of gender-analytical reforms.
The stubborn problem of child labor that clearly depicts a vicious cycle cannot be eradicated by just the government. Other entities need to be equally resilient and contributive. ILO, World Bank, UNICEF, Trade unions, NGOs, communities, families and even individuals need to come forward and extend help. Policymakers and planners need to come up with qualitative as well as quantitative data, by the assistance of multidisciplinary research. That data would imply serious considerations and in-depth information would help set standards and apply stringent measures. The Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations has renewed goals to take immediate and effective steps to eradicate forced labor. The global figures remain abysmal and appalling. International cooperation is urgent to destroy this vicious cycle and protect the innocent and immaculate children by investing in expanding the knowledge base and sticking to zero tolerance against violations.