Child Labor in Africa

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Child Labor in Africa

By | November 2008
Page 1 of 5
Child Labor in Africa

A recent study done by the ILO (International Labour Organization) estimated that 217.7 million children ages 5 to 17 are engaged in child labor all over the world. Of these, 126.3 million are caught in the worst forms of child labor (More than…1). What exactly is ‘child labor’? Child labor (or child labour) is the employment of children under an age determined by law or custom. This practice is considered exploitative by many countries and international organizations, “Poor children and their families may rely upon child labor in order to improve their chances of attaining basic necessities” (Causes...1). Child labor in Africa is a horrific problem it is abusive, prevents children from gaining an education which leads to poverty, and is started too young. Sharon LaFRANIERE explains what she saw first hand while visiting in Africa.

“He last ate the day before. His broken wooden paddle was so heavy he could
barely lift it. But he raptly followed each command from Kwadwo Takyi, the
powerfully built 31-year-old in the back of the canoe who freely deals out beatings…Until their servitude ends in three or four years, they are as trapped as the fish in their nets, forced to work up to 14 hours a day, seven days a week, in a trade that even adult fishermen here call punishing and, at times, dangerous” (LaFRANIERE 4). When the children do something wrong they are punished severely. They will often times get beat or even have nothing to eat for a period of time ranging from a day to a week. LaFRANIERE reports on an incident that happened last year, she expounded by saying, “Nigerian police stumbled upon 64 girls aged 14 and younger, packed inside a refrigerated truck built to haul frozen fish. They had traveled hundreds of miles from central Nigeria, the police said, and were destined for work as housemaids in Lagos” (LaFRANIERE 4). This just goes to show how careless and cheap the employers really are.

Education plays a very...