The Need To Stand Up Against Child Labour
Sugar, carpets, and shoes are some of the products frequently unethically produced. It is proven that human beings are working vigorously in hazardous environments to produce these products. What makes this unethical is that kids are working in these dangerous settings. This is called child labour and it is inimical to children all around the world. Child labour produces a negative effect on the development and growth of the child. It specifically inflicts physical and psychological harm onto children as well as strip them of their education. Child labour has become the norm in some countries. This is an overlooked social injustice that requires immediate awareness and attention, otherwise, countless children will continue to suffer.
As a result of families living in developing countries, the majority are not stable in terms of finance, ultimately allowing the existence of child labour. Families send their children to work in harmful and abusive environments just to earn enough money to support themselves. The World Health Organization states that the youth are often careless and want to prove that they are capable of handling tools and machines. However, they are amateurs in dealing with hazards, and hence pose more risks (“Hazardous Child Labour”). These children are young, they are prone to injuries, they are not trained on proper safety with tools and machines, and they lack education. This can cause many injuries including cuts, burns, fractures, exhaustion, and dizziness. Unfortunately, these injuries may cause permanent damage to the growth of the child. In an article regarding child labour, children shared stories of psychological and physical abuse. A child stated that bathroom breaks and sick days are prohibited and they are punished if they made mistakes (“Why Child Labour Is Still In Effect Around The Globe”). These minors are physically neglected as well as physically abused for failing to make a product; this damages the integrity and dignity of the minor. This is unacceptable since it ruins the very essence of the child. Children are often associated with being innocent since they are still developing; however, the children’s integrity is damaged and will have repercussions in their development which may lead them to do many things against their moral beliefs and values. Unfortunately, many children are getting killed in accidents involving child labour. This is morally wrong and yet, why does it still happen?
Similarly, children constantly face mental and emotional abuse while working many hours. Psychological abuse can lead to many problems that occur when children are growing up. They are still developing mentally and emotionally. They are still discovering what their morals and values are. When kids are being abused, they often have a misconception of their self-identity that consequently lead them to immoral behaviour (“Emotional, Psychological, and Mental Abuse: Is There a Difference?”). The children will grow up to follow immoral behaviour and mistreat others. This is because the abuse leads the child to believe they are at fault, and that they deserve it. The child thinks that it is appropriate to treat others the way they were treated and this threatens the development of the child. Child labour is associated with psychological abuse since the children are often berated for mistakes. The International Labour Organization (ILO) states that youngsters typically receive emotional neglect like deprivation of family love which ends in loneliness and despair (“Causes and Consequences of Child Labour”). Subsequently, there are several effects to the child from this neglect. Although some short term effects may be confusion, fear, hopelessness, and shame; however, these effects may develop into long-term effects such as anxiety, chronic pain, and insomnia. There are several studies that display that these long-term effects can be compared to the effects of physical abuse. Over time, both can contribute to low self-esteem and depression (Ann Pietrangelo). Furthermore, ILO reports that sexual abuse takes place more often in the workplace since minors are more vulnerable to sexual exploitation (“Causes and Consequences of Child Labour”). This sexual abuse is linked to emotional abuse which can lead to a lifetime of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is a mental illness that affects people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. PTSD produces a negative effect on the growth of the child. It is unfair that these young children get sexually exploited and are stripped of their childhood from PTSD. However, they must keep working to attempt to escape the grasp of poverty.
Consequently, child labourers are deprived of education. Poverty-stricken families who have no means of feeding or giving education or healthcare to their children are forced to send them to work. Fortunately, there is a way to break the cycle of poverty, and that is with education. Education is as vital as water for the youth. However, 15 million kids are working rather than attending school. Many of the children that are low achievers tend to drop out of school and are extremely vulnerable to child labour. Unfortunately, kids are stripped of their childhood and education, and it is reprehensible. There is evidence that is available that suggests that there is a 17 percent achievement gap that child labourers suffer compared to other children in formal education (Gordon Brown 5). Additionally, the United Nations (UN) stated that Brazil has focused its attention on eradicating child labour by making education a key element, and it is showing positive results (Gordon Brown 5). This is evidence that education can prevent child labour. If more countries focus on making education their number one priority, more children are safe from child labour. Luckily, there are actions being taken such as setting up non-formal education and training. This form of education is to help kids transition from the workplace to formal education (“Non-Formal Education and Training”). This is an attempt to eliminate child labour, and it is working effectively. It is teaching children a basic education and most importantly, the rights they deserve. Fortunately, many organizations are supporting non-formal education to eradicate child labour. According to the United Nations, June 12 has been designated as “World Day Against Child Labor” to raise awareness on the challenge of providing education to children in need. However, there is still more to be done to prevent child labour from harming the youth further.
Aforementioned, this displays strong evidence that supports the fact that children should not be physically and psychologically abused as it produces a negative effect on the development and growth of the child. Kids all around the world should also have access to education and not be trapped in a cage. Major changes need to be made in eradicating child labour; companies need to start doing more research on the origin of the products they purchase and consumers need to have the habit of purchasing fair-trade products. Subsequently, child labour cannot be solved in one day. However, if enough awareness is raised to this issue we are able to induce society to aid education for children living in developing countries and take a step in the correct direction.
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