International Strategies to Protect Children from Child Labour

2619 words (10 pages) Essay in International Studies

23/09/19 International Studies Reference this

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The World’s Children Must Be Protected From Labour

 The issue of child labour has been one that has been ongoing for hundreds of years and is still very much present today. The lack of social education and awareness on this cause is lacking therefore, justice is not being served to those vulnerable children whom suffered and will continue to suffer through this cruel form of work if not stopped. The global community’s continuing failure to end the cruel human rights violation of child labour urgently requires the creation and enforcement of a stricter international law that promotes education and wellness for all children around the world. The elimination of this cause can start by it being dealt with every nation individually for it to completely, for once and for all be eliminated globally.

  Child labour is a concern for international law because child labourers are deprived of their right to education. They are not being given the freedom to pursue education, or live their lives as normal children would, and instead they are forced into the work lifestyle without the power to fight it alone. A major issue in the lives of the families whose children work labour is the poverty factor. These harsh working conditions are not suitable for children especially those working for little to no money. If children were given the opportunity to be in school instead of working labour they would have the chance of pursuing careers that pay well, instead of working in difficult and dangerous jobs that put their lives at stake. Moreover, they are forced into this poverty lifestyle because they are from developing countries and do not get a say in what they have to do in order to earn money to help support their families. Children need to mature quickly to adapt to work in order to survive, due to “the loss of the parents’ jobs, the departure of the head of the family, a poor harvest, a natural disaster, the occurrence of illness or any other unexpected event.”[1] Children are used as objects to pay off their family’s debts, resulting in them working extensive hours, which harms them physically, emotionally and psychologically. As a result, families troubled by “financial issues cannot handle the growing demands of their children and sometimes even fail to provide them with adequate nutrition”[2]. Studies show “depression, hopelessness, shame, guilt, loss of confidence and anxiety are some of the horrible emotional effects of child labour, leading to a high risk of mental illness and antisocial behavior.”[3] These ruthless work conditions and factors cause children to become unhealthy and undernourished; which is highly preventable if they were given the resources and facilities to go to school. Child labour is frequently occurring in more underdeveloped or developing countries which are not urbanized and do not have education as a major priority, rather the need to survive, no matter the given work conditions. They are not being given the freedom to pursue education, or live their lives as normal children would, and instead they are forced into the work lifestyle without the power to fight it alone. Children suffering through labour “are as young as six or seven years old. Often their hours of labour are 12 to 16 hours a day. Often their place of work is the sweatshop, the mine, the refuse heap, or the street. Often the work itself is dull, day-long, repetitive, low-paid or unpaid. Sometimes the child works under the threat of violence and intimidation, or is subject to sexual exploitation.”[4] If they were given an education and the opportunity to pursue a career, money would not be an issue. Children are facing this cruel treatment due to the poverty in which they grew up in, and the debts of their parents, causing them to face physical and mental health issues. Overall, the deprivation of education is a major factor which contributes to the numbers of children working dangerous labour jobs to continue to increase significantly.

Many countries and organizations have raised the concern and attempted to bring awareness to the issue of child labour, however international law has not been effective because it is evident that child labour is still present in today’s day. The UN convention on the rights of the child (CRC) has been protecting children rights since 1990 but has not been ratified in all countries specifically the US and Somalia so it is not fully in effect as of yet. The CRC is a human rights treaty that “comprehensively establishes the rights of children. Under the CRC, a child is anyone under the age of 18, unless otherwise noted in national legislation.”[5] Due to the US and Somalia not ratifying this, there leaves thousands of children in their countries unprotected from the cruelty of child labour. The effect of this is that child labour rates in those countries are significantly high and that “half of Somali children have to work in order to provide for themselves and their families. About 40% of children suffer from malnutrition in Somalia; 33% only eat once a day.”[6] If this convention was ratified this would be highly prevented from ever occurring again. Another organization that has attempted to prevent child labour is the International Labour Organization. It is a United Nations specialized agency that’s objective is to prevent child labour and other bad working conditions for men, women and children across the world. However, has not been found effective since the number of children in child labour statistically has not been found to decrease significantly at all throughout the years. Unicef rates show currently worldwide there are “218 million children between 5 and 17 years are in employment. Among them, 152 million are victims of child labour; almost half of them, 73 million, work in hazardous child labour.”[7] These solutions are not showing evidence of positive outcome or effectiveness. Moreover, there was a Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention created which “requires ratifying countries to take immediate action to prohibit and eliminate the worst forms of child labor defined as: all forms of slavery, commercial sexual exploitation of children, and any work that by its nature is harmful to the health, safety, or morals of children.”[8] However, the number of children harmed and killed from work are still significantly high today. Worldwide, “the ILO estimates that some 22,000 children are killed at work every year.”[9] This number is not completely accurate with the probability of thousands of more children and is still to be determined due to the thousands of unknown cases of child labouring illegally occurring worldwide. All of these attempts to stop child labour have not yet come to effect due to limiting factors. Initially, further actions against child labour must been seen in order to provide justice to those children suffering and in order to create a significant decrease in the amount of child labourers worldwide; to put this issue to a stop once and for all.

 Child labour having an effect on children’s wellbeing, along laws not being enforced enough, means new solutions must be motioned into place in order to end this issue.  Promoting legal reform is a first step in preventing child labour. This can be possible by “providing clear legislative guidance on the types and conditions of activities that should be considered child labour is essential for effective action. Legal reform also provides government with a mandate to ensure other contributing issues (e.g. poverty, violence, migration) are properly addressed.”[10] If this becomes effective then it prevents thousands of children globally to be protected against child labour along with stops any long term implications that it could have had on their lives. Next, putting children in school so they can pursue careers instead of making them work labour jobs for the minimum pay in order to end child labour globally. Studies conducted by UNICEF show “an estimated 57 million children of primary school age were out of school in 2011.”[11] Also, “almost half of all children currently out of school may never enrol, and the other half may either enter late or drop out early. There is a high probability that children who are out of school will be exposed to violence and exploitation in workplaces. Some of the 600 million children who are in school also work in violent and exploitative workplaces, increasing their risk of dropping out.”[12] Children being occupied with school betters their futures, prevents any abuse they could face in work places and will also educate them on their human rights. Lastly, we need to start protecting children socially and not allowing factors such as deprivation and poverty be an excuse for them to be forced to work labour jobs. This can be done through social initiatives, Unicef defines

social protection as: the set of public and private policies and programmes aimed at preventing, reducing and eliminating economic and social vulnerabilities to poverty and deprivation. This includes programmes such as social transfers, social health insurance, social support services, family leave policy and accessible child care. Well-functioning social protection systems can contribute to addressing some of the underlying causes of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of children.[13]

 Initially, global communities can come together and put an end to this gruesome act of child labour and uphold the rights children are obligated to in order to ensure safety of all children globally.

 

 Children to be placed in harm’s way to do labour work for another organizations gain is cruel and should have never occurred and should never continue to occur. Childhood is precious and should not be wasted and limited to such dangerous work conditions. This is a continuing global issue this must be stopped immediately in order to retain the justice of vulnerable children across the world. This must be done through the creation and enforcement of a stricter international law that promotes education and wellness for all children around the world. Attention must be given to those suffering children and bring awareness to their mistreatment in order to see change occur. All nations must come together to once and for all banish child labour and child labour must be abolished.

 

Bibliography

  • Worth James. “World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2013: Case Study: Karoshi: Death from Overwork”. ILO. last modified July 13, 2011.https://www.ilo.org/moscow/areas-of-work/child-labour/WCMS_248984/lang–en/index.htm

[1] Sinto Agarwal, “Impact of Child Labour on the Nutritional Level and Developmental 9-12 Years”, OMICS International, last modified June 05, 2017, https://www.tdh.ch/en/news/more-215-million-children-are-still-forced-labour-throughout-world

[2] James Worth, “World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2013: Case Study: Karoshi: Death from Overwork”, ILO, last modified July 13, 2011,

 https://www.ilo.org/moscow/areas-of-work/child-labour/WCMS_248984/lang–en/index.htm

[3] Rehan Qayyum, “Child Labour and Its Dismal Psychological Implications”, JPMS Medical Blogs, Last accessed December 10, 2018

 http://blogs.jpmsonline.com/2016/06/13/child-labour-and-its-dismal-psychological-implications/.

[4] Dilrai Patel, “Children Protection & Child Rights » Vulnerable Children » Children’s Issues » Child Labour in India”, Child Labour in India – Issues and Concerns, last modified June 06 2015 http://www.childlineindia.org.in/child-labour-india.htm.
 

[5]  Amol Mehra, “Child Labor Laws & Resources -International Laws”, GoodWeave, last accessed November 09 2018, https://goodweave.org/the-issue/laws/.

[6] Dehran Moli, “Children of Somalia,” Humanium We Make Children’s Rights Happen, last accessed December 16 2018, https://www.humanium.org/en/somalia/.

[7] Amol Mehra, “Child Labor Laws & Resources -International Laws”, GoodWeave, last accessed November 09 2018, https://goodweave.org/the-issue/laws/.

[8] Amol Mehra, “Child Labor Laws & Resources -International Laws”, GoodWeave, last accessed November 09 2018, https://goodweave.org/the-issue/laws/.

[9] James Worth, “World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2013: Case Study: Karoshi: Death from Overwork”, ILO, last modified July 13, 2011,

 https://www.ilo.org/moscow/areas-of-work/child-labour/WCMS_248984/lang–en/index.htm

[10] Yves Beigbeder, “The Creation of UNICEF”, New Challenges for UNICEF, last accessed December 18 2018, https://www.unicef.org/protection/files/Child_Labour_and_UNICEF_in_Action.pdf

[11] Yves Beigbeder, “The Creation of UNICEF”, New Challenges for UNICEF, last accessed December 18 2018, https://www.unicef.org/protection/files/Child_Labour_and_UNICEF_in_Action.pdf

[12] Yves Beigbeder, “The Creation of UNICEF”, New Challenges for UNICEF, last accessed December 18 2018, https://www.unicef.org/protection/files/Child_Labour_and_UNICEF_in_Action.pdf

[13] Yves Beigbeder, “The Creation of UNICEF”, New Challenges for UNICEF, last accessed December 18 2018, https://www.unicef.org/protection/files/Child_Labour_and_UNICEF_in_Action.pdf

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