Child labour is the employment of children in a manner that deprives them of their childhood, and is harmful to their physical and mental development. Child labour is a big issue all around the world but it is more among underdeveloped countries.
Kinds of child labour:
• Domestic work: Very common and sometimes seen as acceptable and fully legal. It is practiced inthe family home or outside. When it is outside home, children – almost always girls – work many hours, trying to obtain something for their family like food or water. They have no chance to go to school and become isolated from their family and friends, stealing their childhood.
* Agricultural work: Many children are employed in the agriculture sector. They often work on their family farmor work with their whole family for an employer.
* Work in industries: This work can be regular or casual, legal or illegal. It includes jobs such as carpet weaving, gemstone polishing, making garments, chemicals, glassware, fireworks, matches or a range of other products. These tasks expose children to hazardous chemicals that might lead to poisoning, respiratory and skin diseases, radiantheat, fire and explosions, eyesight and hearing damage cuts, burns and even death.
* Work in mines and quarries: Child labour is most commonly found in small-scale mines in rural areas. They work for many hours without adequate protective equipment and training. Child miners may suffer from physical strain, fatigue and muscular and skeletal systems disorders.
* Military: Children areoften drawn into armed conflict and forced to be soldiers or to work for armed forces.
* Prostitution and child trafficking: It is one of the worst forms of child labour. The dangers faced by children are extreme and range from moral corruption to sexually transmitted diseases to death. Work in the informal economy: This includes a whole range of activities such as shoe cleaning, begging,pulling rickshaws, selling newspapers, or collecting rubbish. Some forms are very easily observed while others are hidden from public view. Activities often take place on the streets but also include domestic work.
A few facts about child labour
According to estimates made by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which were published in 2006, there were 218 million child workers aged5-17 years in 2004. The number of children in hazardous work, which takes in account the worst forms of child labour, was at 126 million in 2004. Sixty-nine per cent of working children are involved in the first sector, in areas such as agriculture and fishing. Only 9 per cent work in the second sector, represented by industries. The Asian continent has the largest number of child labourers, with 122million, followed by sub-Saharan Africa (49.3 million) and Latin America and the Caribbean (5.7 million). With 26 per cent, the percentage of children involved in economic activities in sub-Saharan Africa is currently the highest of any region in the world. There is also child labour in developed countries but its numbers are not significant.
On the other hand, for the first time the ILO wasalso able to notice a positive trend, in which there was 11 per cent decrease of working children from 5 to 17 years old, between 2000 to 2004. What´s more there was also a reduction of 26 per cent of children’s involvement in hazardous work. Latin America and the Caribbean had the greatest decline in children’s work.
There is an estimated cost for the elimination of child labour which is about 760billion USdollars, over a period of 20 years. On the other hand, the estimated benefit in terms of better education and health for children all around the world is over 4 trillion US dollars. The economic benefits would outweigh the costs and there would be huge social benefits to be gained.
Why is child labour an issue?
Child labour violates both children’s and adults’ rights. Working...