Essay question 3: Critically analyse why some children are more vulnerable to exploitation and its impact on their attainment of rights. You can illustrate your answer with example(s).
This assignment focuses on the exploitation through Child labour in India and reflects on the political and legal context for children’s rights. Furthermore considering the theoretical perspectives on the constructions of childhood and the needs and rights of all children. The 2001 national census of India estimated the total number of child labourers, aged 5 years to 14 years to be at 12.6 million. However, Child labour issues are not unique to India; worldwide, approximately 215 million children work, many of which are full-time (Ministry of Labour and Employment 2011). The statistics are alarming, displaying that millions of children across the world are victims of exploitation and abuse, subjected to appalling working conditions for very little or no money. There is also an analysis of why some children are more vulnerable to exploitation through labour than others. This can be linked to poverty and globalisation, child labour markets and a link to the lack of education, affecting the rights of children. It is important to explore and evaluate the works of non-governmental organisations such as Pratham and RIDE India, and the work of the international Labour Organisation, who are a united nations agency dealing with labour issues worldwide. Furthermore, analysing why critics challenge being able to help certain communities and why critics believe children’s rights occur in a context and are conditional, not absolute. The practice of rights for children has emerged in recent years as a powerful force in changing children’s lives. Child exploitation across the world suggests there are significant injustices and children’s rights are being ignored. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) adopted by 193 United Nations members is an important instrument to protecting and addressing the rights and needs of the world’s children. Article 32 states that the government should protect children from work that is dangerous or may harm their health or their education. Additionally, Children's work should not jeopardize any of their other rights, including the right to education, or the right to relaxation and play (UNCRC, cited in UNICEF 2001). This would suggest that all children, regardless of location, have basic human rights. Sharing the right to safety, love of their families, adequate food and rest, and an education (Farrell, 2010). Child exploitation and labour shows the failure to meet children’s most basic needs which is identified in the works of Maslow and the hierarchy of needs. Maslow states that there are stages of human development that humans pass through in order to ultimately move towards the pinnacle of achievement. At the physiological level is the need for air, water, nourishment, good health, activity, rest, and avoidance of pain (Huitt 2007). These conditions are being threatened by child labour and its affects. For example, alarming facts from Save the Children (2007) indicate that two thirds of children are victims of physical abuse, with over half having to work seven days a week. Although the UNCRC adopts the right for all children to be free from abuse and exploitation, it is clearly evident that some children are more vulnerable to being exploited than others. The past two decades have underscored the fact that progress on a child’s well-being and rights is not automatic or inevitable, even with economic growth. According to Adamson (2008) progress on all child-related issues is slowest in South Asia than anywhere else. For instance, Children trafficked into one form of labour in India may be later sold into another, from work in a carpet factory to sex trafficking (IPEC, 2004). There are a number of global, national and local issues as to why some children are more vulnerable to...
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