Child Labour: Why and Why Not
By Faiza Khokhar

Child labor is work that is being done by children under the age of 15, which damages their physical, emotional, social and spiritual growth as children. The limitation of a good education, costly funds to get educated, culture, and social roles increase child labor. The major cause of child labor is poverty. Another cause is poor families that are uneducated and jobless, which leads them to put their children to work. Some families have children so they could contribute to family income and survival.
It has been estimated that 250 million children around the world between the ages of 5 and 14 work in developing countries with at least 120 million of them on a full time basis. 61% of these children are in Asia, 32% are in Africa and 7% in Latin America. Child labor occurs in developing countries mostly in Africa and Asia. Together, these two continents combine for more than 90% of child labor employment.
These children are put to do difficult hazardous jobs so they could make money to help with their family and their own survival. They get employed to do these jobs because no one else wants to do them, as they have harmful side effects, hard physical labour and other damaging influences. These parents have no choice but to put them into these jobs to support the family because the children are unable to qualify for any other jobs that requires good education. These children work at construction sites and in factories making carpets, clothes, glass, matches and fireworks which are very dangerous jobs to do. Other children work in agriculture, and other hazardous jobs, which require manual labour.
Apart from the little money these children are making, which is very unfair, they suffer other losses in doing all this work. The most upsetting part of child labour is the dangerous working conditions that the children experience at such a young age. Their childhood must be awful.
However, the family may struggle if child labor is completely non existent. Many children also pay for their education with the money they make from work, so problems will arise if the labor is stopped but, it is worse for the children if it continues. The effects of poverty and child labor take the lives of many children each day. Child labor must be economically stopped and families must free their children from work.
Schooling problems are also a major reason for child labor. When children have no access to a near by school or if the education quality is not good in the school, it is a waste of time to send the children to school. When schools overlook their proper responsibilities by overcrowding and hiring untrained teachers, parents find no reason to send their children for an education when they could be learning a skill that could help the family income.
Parents are the ones with the most control over their children. If parents are educated, they see the importance of properly educating a child, but an uneducated parent may not see the importance. The result of children dropping out of school may not always be the lack of parental responsibility but may be due to financial issues in the family.
Some families raise children for their own help. They raise daughters to help the mother with housework. This ensures little education for the daughter, who is busy helping the family. They may raise sons to help the father with work and to make money for the family because they need more for their survival. This gives the son few opportunities for education.
Better schooling and education can be a strategy to decrease the amount of child labor. If a child gets good education, they will qualify for a good job. The same goes for the parents. Many children are working to pay for their education and can not afford tuitions and fees. A better economy and education plan can help the country to decrease the amount of child labor.


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