Millions of children in many parts of the world, children are working to feed their families today. Most of the time their jobs are harmful and repressive. Almost 40-50 percent of those children are forced to work to support their families (Narang, 2009). The general images in the developed world are drawn from Dickens and the “dark, satanic mills” of the industrial revolution on the one hand, and the sweatshops and street children of the cities of the developing world on the other (Ravi Kanbur). There are not many organizations to speak for these children. They are losing their childhood joy and their right to normal physical and mental development. Poor children in most of the countries paid their lives as a laborers, rather than education. Somehow this’s the rule even in rich countries, including the US. Today, most countries have child-labor laws and are imposing education as the normal occupation of a child regardless of his/her family’s economic background.
The employment of children in any work that ruins their childhood, stops their right to attend school, and which is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful for the children is considered as Child Labor. It is estimated by the UNICEF that currently there are around 218 million children worldwide working part time or full-time and that 126 million of them perform dangerous jobs. The minimum age limit for all work is different in different nations. Children must get their rights. So, child labour should be banned to ensure that the children all over the world get to enjoy their rights.
UNICEF’s mission is to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. So, every child has the right of experiencing the joy of the childhood, regardless of race, colour, gender, language, religion, opinions, origins, wealth, birth status or ability. Therefore, the right to education, expression, information, nutrition, health and care, protection from abuse, protection from exploitation, protection from neglect, development, recreation, name and nationality and the right to survival must be provided to them. These are the fundamental rights of a child written in the UN Rights of the Child document (“ILO 2010 Facts on Child Labour,”2010). It is generally known that 18 is the suitable age to go for a job and to take on responsibility as a man or woman. Working below that age will definitely result in depression and miner feeling upon the society and their parents or guardians to those children if they are forced to. When they look at the others in the same age enjoying their life it is obvious that they will feel sorry about their lifestyle.
Secondly, the most important need of a child is education. In the modern world, education is everything and if there is no education nothing is possible. Children are supposed to study in their childhood. From the age of 6 until 15 it is compulsory and important for them to learn the theories in school to apply them in life (Narang, 2009). Mainly it is their fundamental right, they should not lose it. Education is the tool for success. Parents have the responsibility to send their children to schools. If they send them to work in their age of studying it will ruin their entire life. Primary education provides children with life skills that will enable them to succeed in their near future. Another major reason why child labour ought to be banned is, it threatens the health and safety of a child. Sometimes their employment will result long term health effects and some even lead them to death. Rapid skeletal growth and development of organs and tissues will be affected when they work for a long time with heavy loads. Greater risk of hearing loss will also be a consequence of working in high sound relieving factories. Greater need for food and rest and higher chemical absorption rates will make children smaller in size. As an example girls who works as brick makers at factories in north part of Lahore, capital of Punjab province. Also some kids working in firecrackers producing companies in Sivakasi, India and some are working as household workers too. Each year there are around 2.7 million young lives are lost due to child labor, especially in agriculture fields and chemical producing factories. In addition, there are number of countries which are using children as soldiers in war torn areas. Those small kids are dying for no reason (Young, 2003).
On the other hand, some people may say that child laborers are most of the time supporting their family and their only wish is to overcome the poverty and hunger in their own families (Child Labour in the Global Economy, 2005). But they must understand that the parents should take the responsibility to take care of their children until they finish their studies and go to work (Narang, 2009). Every child has the right to go to school and to play during their free time. Working for family in their early ages will never give them the satisfaction that they get by being a child and enjoying his or her life.
Children must be mentally, physically, spiritually, socially and morally healthy. They must have the special protection from their parents. Civil society and media engagement could make a difference in the life of these children who are forced into the labour market. They can help them to get their rights back. Creating awareness of the harm of child labour on the health and development of the children will also help the people understand the value of children. Identifying the life skills of children and motivating them to move on in educational field will also help them to recognize a proper path to succeed in their life. As an example In India, UNICEF and its partners work to reduce child Labour rates by reducing the debt amount which burden the families, through forming self-help groups and increasing school enrolment of those child labours. Life-skills education was provided to adolescent girls and child labourers in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra (Survey of Child Labour in Slums of Hyderabad: Final Report, 2008). Also proper way of communication and active participation to make a change in their life will definitely give us a better change for a better future. We must bane the CHILD LABOURS to make sure all the children get their rights which they deserve.
Narang, T. (2009). Child labour and school attendance: an empirical study. Retrieved July 03, 2013, from http://www.ryerson.ca/economics/seminars/MRP-Tina.pdf
Young, A. R. (2003). The statistical information and monitoring programme on Child labour. Retrieved July 03, 2013, from http://www.ilocarib.org.tt/projects/childlabour/library/ rapid_assessment/RABelize.pdf
International labour organization, (2010). Facts on child labour. Retrieved July 07, 2013, from http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/documents/ publication/ wcms_1 26685.pdf
Sharma, R. (2008). Survey of child labour in slums of Hyderabad: final report. Retrieved July 05, 2013, from http://www.cgg.gov.in/publicationdownloads2a/Survey%20of% 20Child%20Labour%20in %20slums%20of%20Hyderabad.pdf
Busse, M., & Braun, S. (2003). Export structure, FDI and child labour. Retrieved July 07, 2013, from http://www.unikassel.de/einrichtungen/fileadmin/datas/einrichtungen/ icdd/Webportal/Publications/Decent_Work_and_Development/Globalization_and_ Child_Labour/ Export_Structure__FDI_and_Child_Labour.pdf
Edmonds, E. V., & Pavcnik, N. (2005). Child labour in the global economy. Retrieved July 07, 2013, from http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~hiscox/EdmondsPavcnik.pdf