In order to establish the Socio-Economic impact of Child Labour in the County of Cornwall, a snapshot survey was taken of children and parents of children engaged in the practice.
The survey was conducted across all five parishes in the county. The child sample population consisted of 50, both boys and girls while the sample for parents were 25. The population was distributed evenly across the parishes of St. James, St Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Trelawny, and Hanover. Refer to Figure 1
Of the total, 64% were males and 36% females. This is supported by Cooke (2002) findings that males were the dominant gender in Child Labour in Jamaica. Refer to Figure 3.
In assessing the potential impact on child development, 34% of the respondents started working between the ages 5-10 and 11-13 years age group respectively and 32% in the age group of 14 -18 years. Refer to Figure 5. St. James was the only parish which did not have any children sampled who started in the latter age group. As such, approximately 64% of the children surveyed are at high risk of losing out on their childhood. This is in keeping with Rice (2001) in his argument that many children who are engaged in Child Labour have to abort their childhood and adopt adulthood to ensure that their families are economically sustained. One may argue that there is serious implication for the nation in its development, as these young people will not be able to contribute significantly to its development with their limited access to education.
Proper rest and sleep, another critical factor in child development, is also lacking with only 48% of the respondents getting sleep of 7 hours or more at home. According to Rice this has serious implication for the child as the brain needs adequate time to rest for effective processing in daily activities. As such, a child denied certain amount of rest can impact his/her focus in school and as such their participation in physical activities.
The impact on the...
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