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Child labour means employment of children under certain age determined by custom and law. Child laboring is considered exploitation by many countries and organizations. It was not considered as a problem in the history but became a disputed issue with the inception of universal schooling and the concepts of workers’ and children’s rights
Child labor can be factory work, mining, agriculture, helping in the parents’ business, for example selling food, or doing other. Some children work as tourist guides, sometimes combined with bringing in business for shops and restaurants where they work as waiters. Other children are forced to do repetitive and tedious jobs such as polishing shoes and assembling boxes. However, rather than in factories and shops, mostly children work in the informal sector.
The most controversial forms of work include use of children for military purposes as well as Child prostitution.
Protect our children
Child labor exists throughout the world. Children are forced to work where their survival depends on their family. The problem becomes further complicated by the fact when child labor remains hidden from public view, making the problem less of a priority to overcome.
To protect child labor there seem to be many approaches. Here are some important suggestions.
Priorities primary education particularly where countries spend least on primary education. Primary education should be compulsory and free.
Get rid of poverty many things are needed to overcome global poverty.
Reorganize Third World Debt. The repayments from the poorest and most indebted countries should be redirected to spending money on education and local health and education rather than to Western banks.
Ban the worst forms of child labor. Push the government to support the ILO Convention which includes the worst forms of child labor such as bonded labor, work in heavy industry or with dangerous substances and commercial sexual exploitation.
Give jobs to adult relatives. Give the jobs to children’s adult relatives. This way, the family won’t be suffered, and indeed should helpful, as adult wages are generally much higher than child wages.
Education and training for women. Studies show when women are educated, trained and empowered, child labor drops dramatically.
Get more data. The ILO has collected a lot of data on child labor in recent years, but there are still many gaps. There is need to collect more data especially in those “hidden” areas such as domestic servants, on farms or with home-based out-workers.
WHAT ARE MORE SOLUTIONS TO STOPCHILD LABOR?
Increase family incomes.
Education – that helps children learn skills that will help them earn a living.
Social services - that help children and families survive in crises, such as disease, or loss of home and shelter.
Family control of fertility – so that families are not burdened by children.
Children are often sold into slavery by their parents or guardians in extreme poverty. Along with paying, desperate parents are promised that the child will receive food, clothing, shelter, and a proper education. In many cases, parents unwillingly push their children into a miserable life of slavery and as a result they may never see their child again.
Many child slaves are kept away from education, freedom of information and movement. They are confined, beaten, and harassed and are forced to work in dangerous conditions that often result in life-long injuries because poverty is so widespread. Children are considered as disposable and are often fed just enough to be kept alive. Studies show that a desperate family that could be enticed to sell a child on an average amount of US$90.
Both child labor and child slavery cause psychological and physical damage for children. Many children attempt to escape and return home again. Others live in the streets to avoid re-enslavement and punishment. In rare cases, children are rescued by aid and non-profit organizations such as Save the Children who attempt to secure them a better future.