Is Overpopulation the Main Cause of Child Labour? Child labour refers to the employment of children to benefit their family financial situation where they are exploited to danger and hazard. It may interfere with their education and hamper the children physically, mentally, spiritually or morally. Children exposed to child labour since young can be distorted or disabled due to carrying heavy loads or forced into unnatural positions at work for long hours. Many say that the main cause of child labour is overpopulation. Though I agree that overpopulation is one of the important causes of child labour, but I think that it is not the main cause of it. According to a report from UNICEF in 2010, an estimate number of 158 million children are engaged in child labour and this is about 17% of the total number of children and according to International Labour Organization, it has increased to 215 million currently. Over the years, researchers have provided sufficient evidences that a large popularity of child labour occurs in developing countries. Majority of it happens mostly in the rural of Asian and African countries and they are mostly victims of scarce resources for example food supply and water. However, child labour is also common in some developed countries, for example in the United States, more than 230,000 children work in agriculture. Reported by Edmonds and Pavcnik, 85% of working children are employed for doing works related to the agriculture. Countries where child labour has become a common practice include Bangladesh, Tanzania, Myanmar, Yemen, India and many more. Below is a case of child labour in Bangladesh: “Mohammad Faisal Hossain is a twelve-year-old boy who works to support his family. To meet their needs, he holds down two jobs on the packed roads of the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka: selling newspapers in the early morning and working as a helping hand on a small minibus. Every morning, Mohammad collects newspapers from the retailer and weaves his way through the crowded railway stations and bus stops. On an average day, he earns 70 to 80 taka, less than US$1, at this job. His second job takes up most of his time until evening. On the minibus, he shouts out the vehicles’ destination to potential passengers and collects fares from each rider. At this job, Mohammad worries for his safety. His wish is to go to school everyday like other children but his mother, whose once a maid servant but left after she fell sick, couldn’t afford sending him to school after fifth grade. At this crucial moment between death and survival, his father left them behind which made them even more helpless and he has no other option but to work.” --- reported by UNICEF ---
Causes of Child Labour Cases of child labour are mostly found in families who are suffering from poverty. Poorer families are usually overpopulated and they have more children and family members to feed and to take care of. In addition to these, they have limited resources of food supply and other basic necessities essential for living as they can’t afford anything more. These factors have driven children to work so that their financial situation at home will improve. Exposed to harms, abuses and exploits, the children are deprived from their education. Overpopulation in an area will also cause the demand of resources like food supply to increase and therefore, people will compete for the available resources. This means that the poorer families will have less access to it. However, personally, I think that overpopulation is not the main cause of child labour. Poverty is the primary cause of child labour. Poverty leads to many other factors which force children into labour. Despite the fact that the parents know that child labour is incorrect, they are forced to choose this as the other option will be worse, for instance, without sufficient money for the basic needs of life, people will become malnourished and infected with dieaseas which will eventually cause death....
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