By the Sweat of Children(Part:2)

Nov

21

2019

Forms of Child Labor

What shapes does child labor take? By and large, most child workers are in domestic service. Such laborers have been dubbed “the world’s most forgotten children.” Domestic service need not be hazardous, but it often is. Children in domestic servitude tend to be poorly paid—or not paid at all.

Their masters set the terms and conditions of their work entirely at whim. They are deprived of affection, schooling, play, and social activity. They are also vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse.


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Other children find themselves as forced and bonded laborers. In South Asia, as well as in other areas, children, often only eight or nine years old, are pledged by their parents to factory owners or their agents in exchange for small loans. The lifelong servitude of the children never succeeds in even reducing the debt.

What about the commercial sexual exploitation of children? It is estimated that every year at least one million girls worldwide are lured into the sex trade. Boys too are often sexually exploited. The physical and emotional damage inflicted by this type of abuse—not to mention HIV infection—makes it one of the most hazardous forms of child labor. “We have the same place that bums do in society,” says a 15-year-old prostitute from Senegal. “No one wants to know us or be seen with us.”

A high percentage of child workers are exploited in industrial and plantation labor. Such children toil in mining operations that would be considered too risky for adults. Many suffer from tuberculosis, bronchitis, and asthma. Child laborers on plantations are exposed to pesticides, snakebites, and insect stings. Some have been mutilated while cutting cane with machetes. Millions of other children have made the streets their workplace. Take, for example, ten-year-old Shireen, a professional scavenger. She has never been to school, but she is well versed in the economics of survival. If she sells 30 to 50 cents’ worth of wastepaper and plastic bags, she eats lunch. If she earns less, she goes without food. Street children, often fleeing abuse or neglect at home, suffer further abuse and exploitation on the street. “Every day I pray not to end up in evil hands,” says Josie, a ten-year-old who sells candy on the thoroughfares of an Asian city.

Childhood Ruined

As a result of such forms of child labor, tens of millions of children are exposed to serious hazards. These may stem from the nature of the work involved or from poor working conditions. Children and other young workers tend to have more serious occupational accidents than adults. This is because a child’s anatomy is different from that of an adult. His spine or pelvis can easily become deformed by heavy work. Also, children suffer more than adults do when exposed to dangerous chemical substances or to radiation. In addition, children are not physically suited to long hours of strenuous and monotonous work, which is very often their lot. They are not usually aware of dangers, nor do they have much knowledge of the precautions they should be taking.

The effects of child labor on the psychological, emotional, and intellectual growth of the victims are also grave. Such children are deprived of affection. Beatings, insults, punishment by being deprived of food, and sexual abuse are very common. According to one study, nearly half of the approximately 250 million child laborers have dropped out of school. Additionally, it has been observed that the learning capacity of children working long hours can be impaired.

What does all of this mean? That most child laborers are condemned to lifelong poverty, misery, sickness, illiteracy, and social dysfunction. Or, as journalist Robin Wright put it, “for all of its scientific and technical advances, the world at the end of the 20th Century is producing millions of children who have little hope of normal life, much less of leading the world into the 21st.” These sobering thoughts raise the questions: How should children be treated? Are there any solutions in sight for the problem of abusive child labor?


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[Footnotes]

In general, the ILO establishes 15 years as the minimum age for allowing children to work—provided that 15 is not less than the age for completion of compulsory schooling. This has been the most widely used yardstick when establishing how many children around the world are currently working.

For further information on the sexual exploitation of children, see pages 11-15 of the April 8, 1997, issue of Awake!

What Is Child Labor?

  MOST children in all societies work in one way or another. The types of work they do vary within societies and over time. Work can be an essential part of children’s education and a means of transmitting vital skills from parent to offspring. In some countries, children are often involved in workshops and small-scale services, gradually becoming full-fledged workers later in life. In other countries, teenagers work for a few hours a week to earn pocket money. The United Nations Children’s Fund maintains that such work “is beneficial, promoting or enhancing a child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development without interfering with schooling, recreation and rest.”

  Child labor, on the other hand, is about children who work long hours for low wages, often under conditions harmful to their health. This type of work “is palpably destructive or exploitative,” comments The State of the World’s Children 1997. “No one would publicly argue that exploiting children as prostitutes is acceptable in any circumstances. The same can be said about ‘bonded child labour’, the term widely used for the virtual enslavement of children to repay debts incurred by their parents or grandparents. This also applies to industries notorious for the dire health and safety hazards they present . . . Hazardous work is simply intolerable for all children.”


With the help of our referred site you can study the bible at your own free time without any hassle. Be your own TEACHER, at the comfort of your Home whiles you study the Bible with question and answer to help you keep scriptures in your mind.

Credits to Awake 1999 Published by Jehiovah’s Wittnesses

In: Natural,creation and Lessons Asked By: [3 Grey Star Level]

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