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A Study On Child Labour Today English Language Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 2229 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The purpose of this research paper is to study situations of children working in conditions which are detrimental to their physical and mental health. It has been observed that they are employed to do the job of a peasant, miner, collier and in places which abound in chemicals, pesticides and dangerous machinery. Others are hired to do exhausting domestic work as domestic servants or the work done behind the walls of auto work shops where they remain invisible from the eyes of observers. To affirm the views and ideas about child labor I have used primary and secondary recourses long with some counter arguments. So the surveys are the primary sources where as the secondary sources are the websites and books. Besides, did research findings like making charts to determine the results after doing the surveys. Where in the conclusion I wrote some ways to decrease child labor and wrote recommendation.

Section 1- Introduction:

Child labor is arise in the 18th century of industrial revolution where young children were working in companies for long hours with less fee (Shahrokhi, 1996, no page). For instant, in England and Scotland there were about 60% children working in factories for making textiles (Pakhare, 2007, no page).

Child labor has become a pervasive issue which is being discussed extensively in different international forums since the awakening of human right organizations around the world. With the help of some concrete steps taken by the developed nations, the issue has been countered to a considerable extent in the developed countries but it is still extremely intimidating in the under-developed countries. The term Child Labor does not have one concrete definition. Different people and organizations define it differently.

“UNICEF defines child labor as work that exceeds a minimum number of hours, depending on the age of child and on the type of work. Such work is considered harmful to child and should therefore be eliminated.

  • Ages 5-11 : At least one hour of economic work or 28 hours of domestic work per week.
  • Ages 12-14 : At least 14 hours of economic work or 28 hours of domestic work per week.
  • Ages 15-17 : At least 43 hours of economic or domestic work per week” (UNICEF Child Labour, 2008, no page).

As per the UNICEF estimate over 158 million children around the age 5-14 are some way or the other occupied in child labor. Among them, millions are working in conditions which are detrimental to their health. They are employed to do the job of a miner, collier and in places which abound in chemicals, pesticides and dangerous machinery. Others are hired to do exhausting domestic work as domestic servants or the work done behind the walls of auto work shops where they remain invisible from the eyes of observers (UNICEF Child Labour, 2008, no page). Child Labor is a serious nuisance and has extremely negative effects on children. Children engaged in child labor suffer from physical deformation as well as psychological abnormalities; besides, it promotes crime rate and anti-love sentiments in our society and it also becomes a reason of an ever increasing number of illiterate people. Therefore, it is very important to fight child labor with tooth and nail to ensure the physical, psychological and mental health of our society. The audiences are the universal public so the aim of this paper is to influence them about child labor. Consequently, the research paper consist of five sections and each section has a valuable information and a results that will help the readers to realize what does child labor do to children. Section one will be about what is child labor and history of child labor. In section two there will be counter arguments that discuss about the negative and positive opinion of different people with my opinion about child labor. Then the third section is research method where I had used a primary source which is the survey to help me to get supported evidence. Besides the forth section is linked with section 3 where it shows the result findings o the surveys. The last section is the conclusion and the recommendation that will give a summary of the research and suggestions for child labor.

Section 2- Literature Review:-

There is no denying the fact that child labor is a black mark on the face of humanity but it is not completely devoid of its advantages. Child labor helps sustain the economic pressure a family goes through which doesn’t have a young male member to provide them necessities of life, and ensure their viability. Besides, a child of a poor family who gets exposed to a labor gradually learns a trade that may prove highly beneficial for the later stages of life. Moreover, small industries of many third world countries depend largely on the cheap labor they get by employing small children. There is no doubt that these children are exploited but there is no substitute available neither for the children nor for the owners of small industries (Doepke & Zilibotti, 2003, no page). In under developing countries most of the child works are found in the rural areas where there are less facilities of education and schooling and where families are dependent on their work for their sustenance.

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“Historically the working force of child workers is more in rural areas compared to urban settings. Nine out of ten village children are employed in agriculture or household industries and craftwork. In towns and cities children are more absorbed in service and trading sectors rather that marketing. This is due to the rapid urbanization of the modern world” (Child Labour Today, 2008, no page).

Families are forced to send their children to ensure their viability the most famous case Iqbal Masih who was born in 1982 near Lahore Pakistan and started working at the age of four in the carpet industry is also one of the same sort. His parents used to get his wages in advance (Hobbs, McKechine & Lavalette, 1999).

According to Grace Abbott, a former member of Child Labor Division of the United States Department of Labor Children’s Bureau, the studies carried out in Britain throughout the 1990’s on the subject of child labor reveal that up to 30% of the children involved in child labor sustain some form of injury like cuts, bruises, burns etc. A similar research in the United States has produced the same results (Grace, 1999).

As per Child Labor Public Education Project of the University of Iowa Labor Center, continuous labor of long hours has extremely negative effects on children as it can damage their social and educational development. Besides, it may result in unexpected aggression, misconduct and sleep deprivation (University of Iowa Labor Center, n.d, no page).

For instance page 15 of the book titled Child Labor A Global Crises by Kathlyn Gay pictures a boy aged 14 who is sleeping while standing after long hours of labor. The title given under the picture reads,

Rajesh Sahani, age fourteen, falls asleep standing up after twelve hours of road building in Pokhara, India. Rajesh has never been to school. Hard labor is his past, his present, and his future. (Gay, 1998, no page)

According to a survey conducted by the organization ” Save the Children” on children themselves, there are quite a lot of negative effects of child labor. These are some of views of the children involved in child labor themselves (Save the Children’s position on children and work, 2003, pg.6):

  • can harm physical development and lead to injury
  • start liking money too much and drop out of school
  • may fall under the influence of bad people
  • self-esteem can be damaged
  • if we are not treated well, we suffer.

By virtue of my personal observation which is fortified by the facts and views expressed above, I am overwhelmingly convinced that child labor has sweeping detrimental effects on the victims as well as on the society.

I am not even least skeptical about the fact that child labor is indeed a curse which speaks volumes of the grievous flaws existing in our society. No sensible being can dissent from the idea that our youth is our most precious asset to sustain descent and progressive life on the planet earth. If we don’t take care of them and allow them to engage in child labor, we are preparing a physically and mentally deformed nation.

Section 3- Research Methods:

To defend my evidence for the research paper which is about child labor I have used a primary resource which is a survey. So writing questions was kind of hard to get an accurate one to ask. But after a long of searching time and thinking I got some interesting question that will really help me for my research paper. The question type consists of yes, no or don’t know and agreement , neutral or disagreement. After every class I gave out the surveys to my class colleagues and teachers along with made an online survey and took link to send it to my friends I know. Around 40 people did the surveys and was eager to get a strong and useful response to help me in my research paper. I have got more response from the people who did it online.

Section 4- Results and Discussion (Research Findings):

Section 5- Conclusion and Recommendation:

Concisely, as we all that children are most important things in life and they are the basis to build society. It is indeed a sorry state of affairs and demands urgent rectification. The curse of child labor is not only in developing or poor countries but it also exists in developed countries. It has a long history but fortunately the developed countries have taken some effective steps which have positively reduced the intensity of exploitation, though it could not be eradicated completely. In our modern world, child labor has assumed many new shapes. We have child labors in auto industry, in the plush houses of rich people and in the entertainment industry which flourishes as the city flourishes. This monster is becoming even more dangerous as the laws are ineffective to handle it and policies of most governments of the world are lax and need drastic changes. Therefore, the negative affects of child labor on children’s physical, psychological and mental health should be figured out and halted. To make the society to be in peace and saved.

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The recommendation that if we fail to do something substantial for the people whose siblings and children have no other option but to be child laborers we are simply fuelling the sentiments of hatred, already existing in them against our society. This sense of acute deprivation will lead to revolt against the existing norms and rules, thereby causing anarchy and complete chaos. Moreover, it can also lead to crime and hooliganism which will further trouble the society. Similarly, the peace and prosperity of this world cannot be ensured until we have equal opportunities of education for all and sundry. If the curse of child labor goes on existing unchecked it will keep on increasing illiteracy which undoubtedly is disadvantageous for the well being of society.

Work Cited/ References:


  • Child Labour Today. (2008). Retrieved November 2, 2009, from Child Labour: http://www.childlabor.in/child-labour-today.htm
  • Doepke, M., & Zilibotti, F. (2003, February). DP3733 Voting with your Children: A Positive Analysis of Child Labour Laws . Retrieved November 2, 2009, from CEPR Discussion Paper: http://www.cepr.org/pubs/new-dps/dplist.asp?dpno=3733
  • Forastieri, V. (1997). Children At Work: Health and safety risks. Geneva, International Labor Office.
  • Gay, K. (1998). Child Work VS. Child Labor. In K. Gay, Child Labor: A Global Crisis (p. 15). United States of America: The Millbrook Press.
  • Grace, A. (1999). Accidents. In S. Hobbs, J. McKechnie, & M. Lavalette, Child Labor: A Work History Companion (p. 1). California: ABC-CLIO, Inc.
  • Hobbs, S., McKechine, J., & Lavalette, M. (1999). Masih, Iqbal. In S. Hobbs, J. McKechine, & M. Lavalette, Child Labor: A Work History Companion (pp. 153-154). California: ABC-CLIO, Inc.
  • Pakhare, J. (2007, April 20). History of Child Labor. Retrieved December 14, 2009, from Buzzle.com: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/history-of-child-labor.html
  • Save the Children’s position on children and work. (2003, March). Retrieved November 10, 2009, from International Save the Children Alliance: www.savethechildren.net/alliance/resources/child_wk.pdf
  • Shahrokhi, L. (1996). History of Child Labor . Retrieved December 14, 2009, from Laila: http://www.earlham.edu/~pols/globalprobs/children/Laila.html
  • UNICEF Child Labour. (2008, March 6). Retrieved October 15, 2009, from UNICEF – Child protection from violence, exploitation and abuse: http://www.unicef.org/protection/index_childlabour.html
  • University of Iowa Labor Center. (n.d.). Health Issues. Retrieved November 10, 2009, from Child Labor Public Education Project: http://www.continuetolearn.uiowa.edu/laborctr/child_labor/about/health_issues.html


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