Child Labor Increases the Risk of Child Mortality

Posted on July 22, 2013 · Posted in General

Child labor can be defined as work that harms children and which keeps them from going to school. According to International Labor Organization or ILO, across the world there are over 215 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 that are employed illegally under conditions that are harmful to their health. The main reason why underage kids work is that their families are poor and the parents of such families encourage their underage kids to work to earn extra money to feed their usually large families.

Child Labor Increases the Risk of Child Mortality

Child laborers in India, picture courtesy of

Large number of kids is engaged in services related to agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and other domestic services. Some kids are even into drug trade and prostitution. Child labor includes one or more of the following features:

1. Violating country’s minimum age laws to work
2. It intimidates the well being of child’s emotional, physical and mental health
3. Includes child slavery, child trafficking, child bonded labor or other illegal activities
4. If children are not able to go to school because of it
5. If children are employed only to undermine the labor standards

Child labor is rampant in the least developed nations where almost 30% of the entire children population is employed in one or the other trade. In general countries that top this violation are China, India, Africa and Philippines.

Child labor in China

Teenagers and pre-adolescents that are from the poorer regions of China are hired by the local manufacturing industries. For example you can see many of these children picking cotton, they are involved in toy production, construction industry, food production and some light mechanical work also. The main reason why kids are preferred for this work is that they have small hands and sharp eyesight, which makes them desirable over the adults.

It is also seen that many parents are forced to send their kids to work because the school fees increased drastically beyond the means of an average family living in rural conditions. Parents of such kids don’t have an idea of the working conditions and the risks that their kids will be exposed to.

Sometimes, the industry people in China resort to kidnapping small children to work in brick industry.

Child labor in India

In India, millions of kids are working in unsafe and hazardous conditions to earn money for their families. The main reason for this rampant violation of law is that the law is not implemented strongly here. The weak implementation of law, broken down school conditions and unqualified teachers who don’t know how to pronounce “apple”, in the rural areas and prevalent poverty amongst the rural India adds further to this issue of child labor.

Children who work in dangerous conditions often come from families and areas where running water, good municipal conditions, electricity and plumbing do not exist. For them they have no other way to feed themselves and so their kids are willing to give up their education to help their families make ends meet.

Child labor in Africa

In Africa child labor is so common that it is almost legal. At very low wages children are employed in various industry sectors and nobody is bothered about their health and whether they go to school or not. The scenario is worst in industries and other machine workshops, where children are employed and are not even given protective tools to guard their health. At times they are not paid and cannot even report the matter because it s after all illegal.

The main reason for the existence of child labor in Africa is poverty. Children are either employed as cheap laborers in industries or they are employed as housemaids. In some cases small girls are forced to marry an older man because their greedy parents receive money as dowry. Some kids are manipulated by the adults to sell organs of their bodies.

Child labor increases the risk of child mortality

Even before a child enters his or her adult age, they are exploited so much that they may live with deadly diseases for the rest of their life or die early.

UN’s role

The UN plays a large role in trying to curb these activities. They have programs focused at grass root level and run numerous social awareness programs in conjunction with the local government and NGOs. Even though UN is trying to help their best, it is ultimately up to the local government to prevent this serious violation of laws. Child labor is banned, and definitely doesn’t stand anywhere on humanitarian grounds.Natural memory enhancer