Child Labor

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From a biological point of view, a child is a person who is not of age to have children. The development of a child is a process more or less continuous that passes through several stages: 0 to 28 days, newborn, 28 days to 2 years, infant, 2 to 6 years, early childhood, 6 to 13 years and childhood, the term preadolescent is also commonly used. Beginning at 13 years of age, puberty marks a period of transition from childhood to adulthood. Functioning of the hormonal system that will provoke the peak of physical growth, maturation of the reproductive system and physical changes all occur. The great cultural differences that exist among countries as well as the significant physical and emotional changes involved in passing from childhood to adulthood have brought attention to the need to find a consensual definition, a global reference that is valid and acceptable to all and that allows each child to be equally taken into account, regardless of where in the world she is. The United Nations thus drew up a definition of the child so that all countries having ratified the international Convention of the Rights of the Child[1] share the same reference, which is laid down in Article 1 of the Convention: A child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier. This definition of a child will not be acceptable if the child’s country deemed him or her to be an adult at an early age, which is rare. According to UNICEF estimates, 130 million children are born each year. In many countries, they represent more than 50% of the population.[2]

Further, a child has his or her own rights. As young and helpless, we cannot just take advantage of it. This includes anti-child labor. According to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, a child should not work before a minimum age and never when that would hinder your health, and your moral and physical development.[3]

However, this does not really happen. Child labor is very rampant all over the world.

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Introduction: Historical Evolution of Child Labor Laws in the Philippines[4]

Laws which restrict the employment of children sprung largely from social reform movements of the late nineteenth century. Although work had traditionally been seen as essential to a child's upbringing, the growth of industrialism gradually changed the nature of the work and attitudes toward it. Children who were sent to meet the increasing demand for workers in factories suffered in economic terms and were no longer being trained in a vocation but typically learned only how to do small tasks. It was becoming apparent that work in factories was physically harmful to children who were being given the unhealthiest work. The increasing awareness of the abuse and exploitation accompanying child labor, thereupon, produced demands for reform. Pressure for child labor laws began to grow at the same time as pressure for compulsory education, and the two movements developed alongside in the years from 1830 to 1930.

Child labor is one of the most rampant problems in the Philippines and one of the many concerns that the Philippine Government needs to focus on. I do believe that a child has the right to receive the most basic necessities in life. As a human being these children also need education, shelter, healthy environment, loving family and most importantly a home which they can call their own and yet its poverty which hinders them to achieve any of these things and forces them to work in the busy streets, farming fields, factories, mining caves at a very young age. Child labor refers to illegal employment of children below 18 years old. Most underage children are forced to labor to support their poor families due to poverty. Because of child labor, children suffer from malnutrition. Instead of killing their time in a classroom these children were rather roam around the streets and risking their...
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