Paper Example on Perspectives of Child Labor

Published: 2023-01-29
Paper Example on Perspectives of Child Labor
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Religion Childhood Child abuse Human rights
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 999 words
9 min read

The economic exploitation of juveniles for economic benefits is of great concern. Many children globally are toiling in the agriculture sector, quarries, and mines. This situation is putting their education and healthy at stake. In this perspective, child labor is the exploitation of the under-aged through work practices that deprive them of their childhood rights. Besides children under forced labor, the term also covers minors engaged in commercial sex and war conflicts. While child labor has adverse effects, different societies of the world have varying attitudes toward it. However, it deprives the juveniles of their social rights, besides exposing them to adverse working conditions that negatively affect their physical and psychological development. Thus, child labor should be strongly condemned since it is an insult to humanity.

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Child labor has different perspectives, especially from an ethical point of view. The Utilitarianisms argued that child labor is ethical as long as the minor is the sole breadwinner of the family (Radfar et al. 17). Therefore, their employment is justifiable since, without their income, the entire family will not survive. Those supporting child labor further argued that it is a fair practice as long as a teenager is working voluntarily (Radfar et al. 19). The act is in line with the cultural beliefs of some developing countries that encourage minors to participate in activities that enhance skill development. Such cultures also encourage minors to work since it is a tradition that children should follow the footsteps of their parents. In other words, children should learn to work at an early age to be successful in the future. Boys in such cultures have a responsibility to work and supplement the income of their families (Radfar et al. 17).

Children should work since religion supports the virtue of hard work. Therefore, the practice is justifiable if it is part of religious values among specific groups of people. Krolikowski noted that religion influences the perceptions towards child labor (276). In this case, the study shows that people of the traditional African faith encourage children to work while Christians are least likely to embrace the practice. Also, teenagers with no religion and Muslim children would work than their Christian counterparts. In connection, religious values regulate people's lives, and therefore, families have a right to practice their beliefs.

The opponents, on the other hand, opined that child labor is against the autonomy of a minor. In this case, adolescents should concentrate on education and other social activities that enhance their development (Edmonds & Schady 101). It is unfair to expose children to work at an early age since they do not have adequate knowledge about employment terms. As such, it is a form of exploitation since minors cannot understand work situations and their ultimate consequences. Also, it is difficult to determine whether a child is working voluntarily since parents and other outside parties can easily manipulate them to provide labor services.

Child labor is unjustifiable since a minor does not have a competent capacity to make a sound decision. This situation suggests that they can easily become the victims of unfair working terms in terms of pay and the ability to stand up against mistreatment by their employers (Radfar et al. 21). Besides, the maleficence of child exploitation has long-term societal, behavioral, physical consequences. Even if a minor has a capacity and autonomy to make an informed decision, they are below the minimum legal age (Radfar et al. 20). Therefore, the society and the government should protect and safeguard their rights.

Nonetheless, not all the work done by juveniles can be categorized as forms of child labor. Adolescents that support their parents through activities that do not interfere with their schooling, health, and personal development are not child laborers. Child labor, therefore, is any work that deprives juveniles of their dignity and right to proper childhood development. This aspect is a guiding principle for all activities that are a target for elimination within a jurisdiction. Child exploitation through participation in armed conflicts and commercial sex also encompasses child labor. However, authorities are keen on eliminating forced labor since it is widespread than child prostitution and recruitment to participate in armed conflicts.

Several factors cause child labor in the US and developing countries. According to the study by, Wadgave and Goodale, low family income is the leading cause of juvenile exploitation (22). The other factors are pressure to supplement the family income, death of one or both parents, quarrels in the family, chronic disease of a parent, and lack of education opportunities. From the study, it is evident that poverty is the primary reason why children engage in child labor. The government and the society, therefore, can address the problem by implementing poverty reduction strategies and educating children about their rights.

Conclusively, child labor is one of the oldest problems, but it is still prevalent in the modern world. The argument for child labor is the needs for teenagers to sustain family income through employment. Also, it is justifiable when teenagers are the dependents of the family. The opponents, in contrast, argue that child labor adversely affects one's development. Also, children cannot make autonomous decisions since they are not conversant with labor terms. The negative impacts underlying child labor, however, overweighs the arguments for children to work. Therefore, it is an immoral practice that society and the government should eliminate.

Works Cited

Edmonds, Eric V., and Norbert Schady. "Poverty Alleviation and Child Labor." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol. 4, no. 4, 2012, pp. 100-124.

Krolikowski, Pawel Michal. "Why Should We Care About Child Labor? The Education, Labor Market, and Health Consequences of Child Labor." Industrial psychiatry journal, vol. 28, no. 4, 2004, pp. 275-284, DOI: 568159785.ihu75. Accessed 23 July 2019.

Radfar, Amir, et al. "Challenges and perspectives of child labor." Industrial psychiatry journal, vol.27, no. 1, 2018, p.17-21, Accessed 24 July 2019.

Wadgave, HanmantaV, and LataB Godale. "Why children are taking up the job?" Indian Journal of Community Medicine, vol. 38, no. 2, 2013, p. 122, Accessed 24 July 2019.

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