“Child is meant to Learn, not to Earn.”
It is the carefree aspect of childhood that is reminisced by people all around the world. When life gets too stressful, memories of our good old days cheer us up. Imagine, how would it have been, if those days were snatched away from us?
If you perceived that child labor is a medieval concept, you are mistaken. Numerous children around the world are still engaged in paid and unpaid forms of work. At times, these children are either too young to perform the task at hand, or they are involved in activities that are hazardous for their well-being. In fact, in the poorest countries of the world, one out of four children are engaged in labor work that could detriment their physical, mental, social or educational development. As of year 2017, African nations of Mali, Benin, Chad and Guinea-Bissau observed nearly 50% children between the age of 5 and 14 engaged in the evil practice.
Not every child is lucky enough to enjoy protection from family. According to International Labor Organization (ILO), extreme poverty is one of the leading reasons why poor families force their children into menial jobs instead of providing them with quality education.
History is also one of the leading cause for persistence of child labor practice. Some people have cultural beliefs that work builds one’s character and it is good to learn how to handle the household business at an early age. Similarly, some cultures also believe that women do not require a formal education, and it is appropriate for them to get into domestic service.
Numerous law-makers and voluntary organizations have been trying to bring an end to the atrocious practice since years, yet the statistics are still high.
The table below mentions the percentage of children aged 5 to 17 years engaged in child labor at by the UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), as per 2010-2016 estimates:
|Country||Child labor (%)||Country||Child labor (%)|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||38.4||Botswana||9|
|Central African Republic||28.5||Djibouti||7.7|
|Côte d’Ivoire||26.4||Cabo Verde||6.4|
|Sao Tome and Principe||26||Palestine||5.7|
|Kenya||25.9||Bosnia and Herzegovina||5.3|
|Dominican Republic||12.8||Trinidad and Tobago||0.7|