Child labor remains a significant problem in today’s world: it this applies to developing countries and is present in industrialized countries as well. According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), 140 million working children in the world are hired in work that inhibits their development and education (Child Labour). It is morally unacceptable to use children in the labor force. It is known that child labor causes severe, sometimes irreparable, damage to a child’s physical and psychosocial development. In this article, I seek to prove that it is necessary to combat the spread of child labor.
First of all, the exploitation of child labor destroys childhood. There is no time to be a child: working children are often denied rest and play. It is serious that many girls and boys can no longer attend school due to hard child labor. It is fatal to their future because, without a high school diploma and vocational training, they have no chance of getting a higher income, social security, health insurance and then giving their children a better life. Often a vicious cycle begins, ending again in child labor and exploitation.
Over the past two centuries, a society that has reached a high level of economic development has repeatedly made strenuous efforts to eliminate child labor. Despite this, it is estimated that there are 152 million economically active children aged 5-14 employees worldwide (Rodriguez). However, according to the authors, these figures should be taken with caution due to the imperfection of the methods for collecting and processing relevant information.
COVID-19 exacerbates the problem of child labor; it is a disaster for families that already live in poverty. Many income-generating opportunities are lost if people stay at home due to contact restrictions, curfews, and self-isolation (Child Labour). The resulting economic pressure on families without savings and a fixed income could be far-reaching. In particular, children are at risk of being forced into exploitative and hazardous work to contribute to their own families’ survival. Possible consequences are forms of sexual exploitation or forms of modern slavery. After that, it becomes impossible to go to school for them.
As a result of children starting work at a very early age, often without even a primary school education, there is a high probability that they will remain uneducated. That will result in child laborers growing up into physically and mentally unprepared adults with little to no chance of moving out of poverty. According to the United Nations, child trafficking, slavery, and forced labor (including child prostitution and recruitment of child soldiers) are considered the most horrible forms of child labor (Child Labour). They pose a huge threat to the safety and health of children and are, therefore, a clear violation of the child’s rights. Such children will not have the opportunity for further development, which is very important for the development of states, the level of which is determined by the quality of human resources.
The exploitation of child labor deprives children of their future livelihoods. Involvement not only in terrible forms of child labor, but it generally negatively affects the physical and mental health of the child. Many children have to work in harmful or even dangerous conditions, so earning an income can sometimes endanger a child’s life. Moreover, they have limited access to education, health care, and sources of income. Thus, the fight against the exploitation of children needs to be promoted and supported; people should strive to eradicate this phenomenon.
“Child Labour: Global Estimates 2020, Trends and the Road Forward.” UNICEF DATA, Web.
Rodriguez, Iris. “Child Labour and How We Can Contribute to Stop It Today!” Seventeen Goals Magazin, Seventeen Goals Magazin, Web.