Childhood is the most innocent stage in a human life. It is that phase of life where a child is free from all the tensions, fun-loving, play and learns new things, and is the sweetheart of all the family members. But this is only one side of the story. The other side is full of tensions and burdens. Here, the innocent child is not the sweetheart of the family members, instead he is an earning machine working the entire day in order to satisfy the needs and wants of his/her family. This is what is called 'CHILD LABOUR'. There are various causes and effects of child labour. Eliminating child labour is one of the biggest challenges that the whole world is facing.
Child labour includes working children who are below a certain minimum age. This practice is going on since long and is one of the worst forms of child exploitation. Child labour not only causes damage to a child’s physical and mental health but also keep him deprive of his basic rights to education, development, and freedom. According to statistics provided by UNICEF, there are an estimated 250 million children aged 5 to 14 years employed in child labour worldwide and this figure is continuously increasing.
Child labour is not only affecting under-developed and developing countries, but developed countries are also facing this though the rate is comparatively very less. Child labor in Asia accounts for the highest percentage of child labour (61%) followed by Africa (32%). According to International Labour Organization (ILO), if child labor will be banned and all children gets proper education, world's total income would be raised by nearly 22% over 20 years, which accounts for more than $4 trillion. Banning child labor will help in boosting the economy of a country.
Child labor is the act of the employment of children that harms them or prevents them from attending school. An innumerable amount of children from all around the world lose their innocence to being employed in dreadful occupations. Have you ever wondered when did this inhumane act start? The history of child labor can be dated back to the Industrial Revolution. During that era, children were forced to work in hazardous conditions with insufficient pay. They would suffer for countless hours in dangerous environments for the sake of overcoming financial difficulties. This essay will discuss the causes and effects of child labor during and after the Industrial Revolution. There are many causes of child labor. To begin with, the main reason why children were employed is because of the extreme poverty and overpopulation.
Poverty-stricken families tend to have a lot of children, thus their progeny become a burden. The children cause more financial distress to their parents; so having them work would alleviate the troubles they are going through even though it might still be inadequate to support the indigent family. Moreover, another cause is migration of families from the rural areas to the urban areas with the optimism of having a better life. Sadly, their expectations of having good jobs were not met, however; a more exasperating life struck them in their new area. In most cases, all of the family members ended up working to avoid being impoverished. Furthermore, another cause is the lack of education. The ignorance of the parents prevents the children from having a normal childhood, they make them sweep chimneys and work in factories that have toxic materials and dangerous machinery.
The children go through these obstacles while their parents stay at home, unemployed. Also, those uneducated parents do not understand the significance of learning is in the children’s life, and working prevents them from getting the essential education they need. Since working at a very young age has many causes, it must also have many severe consequences that affect both the children and their society. The effects of child labor are countless. First of all, the children who find difficulties in working or make a very small amount of money usually end up begging on the streets. They would give up their dignity just to earn a little amount of money. Also, in many situations, they fall into the dark side of life and become thieves just to earn cash the rapid way. Additionally, many children face many health problems, both physical and mental, as a result of being exposed to hazardous materials and working for countless hours in a harsh workplace.
Their physical health will be damaged due to being surrounded by harmful materials in their workplace, for the child might accidentally inhale or ingest the chemicals. The children’s mental health can also be damaged by the employers who do not care about them. The employer thinks that he/she can get away with mistreating the children because they are young and unaware of their rights by constantly threatening and verbally abusing them. However, this will severely affect the child as they approach adulthood. In conclusion, child labor is an inhumane act that makes children, no matter how old, work in the toughest situations, which started in the Industrial Revolution. The causes of child labor contain being poor, moving from one area to another, and their parents being unschooled. The result of child labor includes turning children into beggars and thieves, and causing severe health problems.