Combating Child Labour: – A Matter Of Concern

Today, people are understanding child labour as a serious threat to our future generation. It is time we join the campaign for eliminating this threat. Children are gifts from God and we must give them the best of treatment. Combating child labour has been a major challenge for long. You and I have a role to play.

combating child labour
Photo: Left; A young girl who is a street hawker in Africa.

In our 21st century, child labour has become prevalence in certain countries. Combating child labour hasn’t been an easy challenge. There are a lot of pitiful reasons why children go through such situations. The worst of it all is when young girls are prostituted. Combating child labour hasn’t been so easy for human right activists.

Some of our future children are not receiving the best of care in certain parts of the world.
This post will help you understand the prevalence of child labour today. In addition, I will explain to you why combating child labour has been so hard. Children are gifts from God. It should be our concern to help them, protect them and give them a better future.

In the first place, let’s understand what child labour is: It is using children(5 – 17 yrs) to do hazardous work that might have adverse effects on their health and education. In the latter part of this post,I will talk about some of the controversies surrounding this.

We need not sit down unconcerned. African Paradise World wants to raise the awareness of child labour. We all have a role to play.

Child labour is prevalent in many developing countries. In Africa, it is very common in Sub-Saharan countries. In the poorest communities, there are 1 out of 4 children facing child labour.

According to UN statistics released in last year(2017), there are 40 million children facing child labour worldwide. In previous years, the estimated number was around 168 million. This huge number makes combating child labour a difficult task. Out of the 40 million, Asia and the Pacific records 25 million out of it. This makes them the highest ground of child labour.

Combating Child Labour Has Been Hard Due To Some Of These Controversies

Contextually, I will base on the African view of making combating child labour difficult.

Traditional Africans have strong ties to their culture. They believe in passing on a parent’s career to his children.

In view of this, a farmer will take his children to the farm. A fisherman will take his children to the sea. A sculpture will work along with his children. A gold miner will work with his children. A farmer will cultivate/harvest crops with his children. A hunter will hunt game with his children. And so on and so forth.

Now, this trend has cropped up into our modern world. A child helping his father to hunt for game and carry woods home is seen as “child labour?”.It doesn’t sound good to the parent. Now, How can we make such a person understand the risk he is putting his children through?

Here, I want all my readers to note; This kind of jobs, the children don’t normally encounter any physical harm. For instance, in Sub-Saharan African countries, many children are street hawkers. They sell many different items to help their families.

How can you classify this as child labour and make it understandable to their parents?.They would never stop sending their children to hawk on the streets.I am yet to find out the criteria UN uses to classify child labour and its degree of seriousness.These challenges are making any effort put in place in combating child labour worthless or ineffective.

Now, there is a controversial problem of classifying certain jobs children are doing as ” child labour”.Simply because they sell items or work to support their parents financially. And this has a positive outcome without any physical harm on the child.

The issue of calling children hawing in the street, lorry stations, public places etc “child labour” exasperates many parents in African cities. Not in the villages. In villages is where things look worse. Many children work like adults. They farm, herd cattle etc. at the expense of their education.

What Causes Child Labour?

As there is a saying; ” everything happens for a reason. The major cause of child labour is poverty.Poverty has taken over the lives of many people in rural areas. Most of them spend less than $2.90 a day.

Children are forced to work hard to earn money and cater for themselves. Sometimes, they are taken away to work for money. They need money to feed themselves and help their families. I believe, should if poverty is eliminated, minimized child labour wouldn’t exist anymore.

If human right activists, government officials, and concerned international bodies are eradicating poverty; Combating child labour wouldn’t be a difficult task.

Effective Measures To Help In Combating Child Labour

Honestly, there is an extreme form of child labour that is ruining the future of many children. An example is children treated as slaves. Along with the inhuman treatment, little girls are prostituted. Some are forced into slavery and drug trafficking. This is the “worse” part of child labour.

Anyone who forces a child into prostitution or illicit activities will one day face the wrath of God. The Bible said this in Matthew 18:6 :

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

I suggest the best way is to enact binding laws. Laws to punish potential offenders. UN, UNICEF and many human rights activists are doing their best in combating child labour. I and you also have responsibilities to think about the future generation.

Secondly, there should be enough sensitization on the dangers of child labour. There must be an intensive education in regions where child labour is prevalent.

This will help them change for the best. Education will help them deter from straining their children.

We all wish child labour has been stopped by now. But it has been a ceaseless battle.

Before I end it all, we must not be concerned about ourselves alone. Let’s contribute to make the world a better place for all children.

I hope this post has been helpful to you. Don’t forget to share with the world. I welcome your comments, contributions, and feedback.

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