Child Labour

Topics: International Labour Organization, Economics, Poverty Pages: 8 (2291 words) Published: May 6, 2013
Child labour


Throughout the world, especially in the less-developed countries, an immeasurable amount of children have been involved in what has been called child labour, and its prevalence has now sparked much worry. Child labour can be defined as any work that is harmful to a child’s health or interrupt a child’s education (International Labour Organisation, 2012). According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), there were approximately 153 million child labourers aged 5-14 worldwide in 2008 and this number has increased to 250 million nowadays. Also, ILO investigated that 60 percent of the child labour was engaged in agricultural work such as farming, dairy and fisheries. The rest is in service industries and manufacturing, 25% and 15% respectively (Diallo, et al., 2010). Child labour is difficult to deal with because of the number of sections and categorization of child labour. It is not only because of poverty but also the surrounding societal and cultural causes. This report will examine the effects and implications of child labour, identify the causes, and propose some feasible solutions.


Child labour is mentally, physically, socially dangerous and harmful to children, and also brings disadvantages to the development of economies across the world, especially in impoverished countries. Obviously and essentially, working in sweatshops and other inhumane conditions may have a negative impact on the health issues, including both mind and body, of the children. Employers do not always necessarily care whether the situation is too dangerous for minors to work and may also force them to finish their work without any respite. This leads the children to suffer injuries while working, or even to be hit cruelly by inhumane employers if the former do not complete the job satisfactorily as what the latter have required. According to a survey from ILO, there are about average 22,000 children who lose their young lives in the work accidents every year (Nakate, 2011). At the same time, child labour leads to severe psychological trauma to young labourers when they become adults (Kale, 2011). That is to say, constant threats and ill treatment during work can have seriously after-effects for their entire life.

As well as these health problems, child labour may generate a low rate of school attendance of children, which is likely to result in significant social issues for both the children and the society as a whole. It is vital to recognize the role of education in the establishment of a society. As for underage workers themselves, lack of education can lead to difficulty in obtaining jobs as they have not had access to the basic knowledge and professional skills (Kale, 2011). As for the society, because of child labour, children do not receive any education so it increases illiteracy. It also gives rise to an increasing rate of child crime that may threaten the social security of the world and dramatically influence the welfare of a nation. To be more specific, minors, who work for extremely long hours and have no time or money to be educated, are likely to prejudice against the entire society without any correct guidance. They could possibly commit a crime in order to exact revenge for their unfair treatment or only want to attract the attention of the world. From a long-term perspective, child labour is bound to restrain the development of society.

In terms of the economic consequences, child labour can hamper the overall economic growth of the country as a result of the health and social impacts on the society. Those children who bare the cruel treatment are often underpaid and do not have any legal contracts to be guaranteed. It definitely reduces the country’s per capita income which refers to the total national income divided by the number of residents in that nation (Kale, 2011). Child labour is prevalent all over the world, particularly in developing countries. Therefore, it...

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