Childhood is the most innocent stage in human life. It is the phase of life
wherein a child is learning new things, fun-loving, free from all tensions and is the
sweetheart of all family members. But this is only one side of the story. The other is
full of tremendous problems and burdens. In this case, the innocent child is not the
sweetheart of the family, instead, he/ she is an earning machine working the entire day
in order to satisfy the needs and wants of his/ her family. This is what we call “Child
There are various causes and effects of child labor that could totally affect
or even damage children’s lives. The consequences of child labor to a child can be
numerous and crippling on his/ her physical, mental and emotional state. It can
seriously hamper the well being of a child who is supposed to get a sound education
and nutrition to develop into a healthy adult.
”Child labor is horrible. These children get hurt, maimed, even killed. And guess what? Most kids in schools don’t even care. That is why we need to learn about it in school. To make a difference.”
It is important to speak about the practice of abusive and exploitative child
labor in order for us to be aware of these cases. Although most of the child workers do
get the privilege of education, most end up being dropouts and repeaters because they
are not able to focus on their studies.
By becoming aware of the consequences that the child workers might face
from their situations, we shall become vigilant by fighting its cause and therefore
contribute towards the goal of eliminating the child labor cases in our country.
A. Historical Background
Child labor can be traced to the period of industrialization. It is
believed that between 1780 and 1840, child exploitation was a foregone practice. It
was common to find children working in factories, farms and mills. Some children
started working as tourist guides; some worked as waiters or even set up small
Worst forms of child exploitation included military use of children and child
prostitution. Families led lives which were manipulated by their employers. They
would work for more than 72 hours a week for company owned amenities like
goods and houses and for a small pay.
Many anti-child labor movements were organized and led by working women and
middle class consumers. However, even today many cases of child labor in the
Philippines are not registered due to different reasons. Although the country has
made remarkable strides to stop child labor, it still exists. The fight is still ongoing.
According to the International Labor Organization, the number of working children
is increasing daily. Sad but true, children are still being exploited in sweatshops.
B. Literature Review
Children as a Source of Labor
1. Unpaid Household Work
The most common unpaid work within the household and also
most common across all types of unpaid work was household work with
activities such as cooking, laundry, ironing, cleaning and gardening. The
researchers found out that three-fourths of the children under took household
work. Parents of the children who work within the household work have
their time to relax and parents appreciate this as there rest day. In this case,
children usually learn their task from their parents or older siblings.
2. Children as Income Earning Assets
From interviewing some labourers, the researchers found out that