Child labor is among the many challenges that the world continually experiences. It is where children are forced to work from a young age. Currently, there are millions of children between the ages of 5 and 17 who are working in various sectors to earn an income (Sámano-Ríos et al., 2019). People who are against child labor claim that it hinders children’s education. Children who are working do not find time to learn, and they end up being illiterate. It is also said that child labor affects their psychological growth (Feeny et al., 2021, p.891). The supporters of child labor claim that working children are important for the survival of many families, particularly in developing countries. Although some people claim that child labor is economically viable for poor families, it should be banned because it affects a child’s education and physical and psychological well-being.
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Reasons for Banning All Forms of Child Labour
Child Labour Inhibits Education
Education is an important tool for the development of a child. Children, as part of the education system, should be allowed to focus on learning without any hindrance. However, child labor interferes with a child’s education, which is needed for a child to explore the opportunities available to them and achieve success in the future (Lee, Kim, and Rhee, 2021, p.6). If children are compelled to work long hours instead of attending school, it can substantially impact their future development, educational opportunities, and economic growth. According to Lee, Kim, and Rhee (2021, p.7, child labor is robbing children millions of children’s education which is critical for their development. As a result, it is reasonable to conclude that education should be the primary reason for prohibiting all forms of child labor in supply chains.
Child Labour Affects Child’s Physical and Emotional Development
Child labor has a negative impact on children’s physical and emotional development. Due to the fact that children are still developing, they lack time to develop their physical and mental health. The children do not have enough time to play with their peers and work in unfriendly environments (Feeny et al., 2021, p.893). When children are forced to work harder than their physical capabilities, it can lead to significant weariness and a lack of development of social skills and other important parts of their development in a neutral environment. Children in most developing countries work in various manufacturing companies, which is detrimental to their health (Feeny et al. 2021., p.891). For instance, a working environment that entails fairly high temperatures and the possibility of being cut has a harmful impact on children. Therefore, child Labour negatively affects the mental and physical wellness of a child.
Child Labour Traps Children In Poverty
Child Labour should be banned because it traps children in poverty. If a child joins the workforce too early, their lifetime earning potential is compromised. Working children have fewer opportunities to seek educational opportunities that will help them to earn better-paying jobs as adults (Feeny et al., 2021, p.891). In regards to this, someone who starts working at a young age may spend the rest of their life in a low-paying, risky job, unable to enhance their own or their future family’s financial status. In addition to hindrances to education, children are often exploited by employers. The children get less income even after working for more hours (Feeny et al., 2021, p.894). Thus, children end up trapped in poverty when they are introduced to work at a tender age.
Reason against Banning All Forms of Child Labour
Child Labour Is Economically Viable for Poor Families
Despite all the reasons supporting banning all forms of child Labour, there are arguments against banning it. For instance, there are some who claim that low-income families would be more impoverished without the additional financial contribution of children (Jariego, 2021, p.31). Some families depend on the income that children get after working for survival. Based on this, banning all forms of child Labour would deprive them of basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing, which would reduce their survival rate. According to the International Labour Office (2017, p.11), more than two-thirds of child Labourers in the 15 to 17 age range work in family enterprises, and about 70% are in agriculture, largely on family farms. However, it is not enough to major more on families’ survival at the expense of a child’s future. Child Labour has an adverse impact on the future of a child and their mental and physical health.
Child Labour is a public matter with negative consequences that need to be addressed. It obscures children’s overall development, including their physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. A child working either in a company or family farm would get less time to focus on education which is integral for their cognitive development. Ideas such as child Labour playing an integral role in the survival of families who live under abject poverty should be discouraged because child Labour is detrimental to a child’s well-being. Child Labour cannot be eradicated through the enforcement of child Labour regulations alone. There is a need for a holistic approach to children’s education and investment in programs that support families that depend on income from child Labour. In addition, international organizations like ILO, UN, and other relevant stakeholders should actively participate in putting an end to child Labour. Therefore, banning all forms of child Labour is an ethical practice that ensures that child’s rights are protected.
Children are the ones who are directly affected by child Labour. They are sacrificing their schooling and proper psychological development in order to work. Education is critical for cognitive development, empowerment, and the acquisition of new adult abilities (Lee, Kim, and Rhee, 2021, p.102308). Based on this, international organizations such as ILO should strive for the implementation of convention 138. Convention 138 is among the conventions that address child labor’s abolition, elimination of forced Labour, and other practices that interfere with human rights (International Labour Organization, 2017, para 12). For all forms of child Labour to end, ILO should ensure that all its member states have ratified child Labour. Therefore, this will give children an opportunity to get an education that is integral for their future.
as little as 3 hours
In collaboration with relevant stakeholders, United Nations should focus on ending child Labour by assisting the families who depend on the income that their children receive. The main reason for the existence of child Labour is poverty (Nogler, Nesi, and Pertile, 2016, p.21). Children work to support their families in getting basic needs like food and shelter. Because ending poverty is one of the goals of the United Nations, they should fight for children to get an education by putting an end to child Labour (Nogler, Nesi, and Pertile 2016, p.21). The families that are unable to survive without a child’s contribution should be supported. This would end claims like banning all forms of child Labour would result in severe poverty, especially for people who rely more on the income that comes from child Labour.
Feeny, S. et al. (2021) ‘Child Labour and psychosocial wellbeing: findings from India,’ Health Economics, 30(4), pp.876-902.
International Labour Office. (2017) Global estimates of child Labour: results and trends, 2012-2016. Alliance 87. Web.
International Labour Organization. (2017). C138 – Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138). Web.
Jariego, I. M. (2021) ‘Causes and consequences of child Labour,’ in Community prevention of child Labour. Springer, Cham, pp. 19-32.
Lee, J., Kim, H. and Rhee, D.E. (2021) ‘No harmless child Labour: the effect of child Labour on academic achievement in francophone Western and Central Africa,’ International Journal of Educational Development, 80, 1-11.
Nogler, L. Nesi, G and Pertile, M. (2016) Child Labour in a globalized world: a legal analysis of ILO action. 2nd edn. Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group.
Sámano-Ríos, M.L. et al. (2019) ‘Occupational safety and health interventions to protect young workers from hazardous work–a scoping review,’ Safety Science, 113, pp.389-403.