Battling Child Labour through Education
A child needs to get hold of books, not tools!
Child labour has always been one of the discussed topics when it comes to how Child Rights are protected all around the world, and yet in many countries, like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Yemen, Myanmar, etc., child labour is seen to be more prevalent. All children deserve to enjoy their childhood, exploring and discovering the endless possibilities of life; interacting with nature, attending to school, making friends, and reaching adulthood one step at a time. However, this is not the reality for an ‘estimated 168 million child labourers worldwide” who are forced to work at coal mines, some as manual labourers and even as child soldiers. In most cases, young children can be found in the streets as vendors. As stated above, child labour is not a new scenario that started sparking up recently, it has been there for a decade, but the question lies if we do educate the world more on this matter would it bring some hope for the eyes that gets lost in time?
What is child labour?
According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ILO (International Labour Organization, a specialized agency of the UN), “child labour refers to any kind of work for which children are too young or which is dangerous or exploitative, which damages physical or mental development or prevents children from attending school”. It robs children from their childhood and violates children’s rights. Many of the child labours grow up psychologically damaged by the way they have experienced their childhood.
How child labour can be stopped?
The working-age of children are from 5-17 years. However, some children below these age levels are taken to work at clothing factories as cleaners while at least about 60% are taken into work in hazardous environments. For example, in gold mines in Burkina Faso, textile industries in Bangladesh, cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast and on farms in Latin America- where they often work in toxic environments, with more than 18 hours of continuous work and inadequate food. These children are also given harsh punishments if they do not meet a required scale of working.
Here’s how you can contribute to fight and bring preventive measures to help end child labour;
- Educate yourself
If you are someone into fancy clothing and items to glamour up your life, maybe you should start researching their manufacturing process. It has been studied that many retailers find it easier to have children as young as 7, work for them behind the closed doors of branding. Therefore, educating yourself on these matters and how the government is paying attention to these can aid the children in need of our help. Don’t forget to support fair trade!
- 2. Sponsor education-If possible, step up to help in sponsoring the education of a child from the poorer countries such as Africa or Asia by getting in touch with several NGOs via the internet and help to connect donors with needy children. With time this might help a whole community to grow as one.
- Get vocal!
Share your views with others and educate the public by getting involved in fundraisers and campaigns in the country. Helping one child at a time still makes sense, educate the people about child labor issues, and encourage positive action.
- Strict rules
The government should impose strict rules on whoever contributed to child labour. The rules must be set out in the way that actions speak louder than words.
It is important to remember that child labour does not only happen legally behind the specks of dust, this could also be the same for some children in their own homes. Parents tend to beat their children and get housework done just cause. Parents, teachers, and communities should be instructed on how to treat children
“There is no reason, there is no excuse. Child labour is child abuse!
Don’t you think the same too?
Article by- A. Zion Anisius