Child labor has plagued society historically. According to the International Labour Organisation, child labor is an act that deprives children of their childhood. It depredates a child’s innocence and often exposes them to mental, physical, and emotional agony. The 20th century has witnessed a reduction in the child labor rate worldwide, from 25% to 10%. But the social evil persists in many countries even to date.
1. Economic Benefits: Child labor provides economic benefits to the organization as well as to the families of the child. Since the labor is cheap, it retains higher profit margins for the company than higher child labor.
2. Families of working children will also gain: On the other hand, it is beneficial to families of working children. Countries with high population density and low income-rate, encourage their children to work as child laborers to support the family financially. For example, in countries like India, the lower-class population are not aware of birth control and often has many mouths to feed. It results in an increased rate of child labor.
3. Educational Benefits: Education is not only limited to the formal education system. Child labor often helps by teaching a child skill that has proven to be beneficial in the future. The skills learned during the work, and the continuous repetition of the same work allows perfection and mastery.
4. It instills a sense of seriousness and responsibility in the child: It also allows a child to understand the importance and seriousness of responsibilities. Some laborer often pays their school fees with the money they received as a salary, resulting in social lives’ overall development.
5. Psycho-social Development: Child labor forces an early maturation of a child. This phenomenon aids in social integration and acceptance of reality. From observations, children involved in child labor are realists and are more mature than normal children. It also allows a child to become responsible.
1. Health Hazard: Studies have shown that children working in extreme conditions develop various types of health hazards like respiratory problems, immunity deficiency, undernourishment, and high morbidity rates. Often children who toil in heavy industries are susceptible to physical impairments.
2. Psychological Instability: Children who work as laborers have often developed various personality disorders. The stress of working in a factory for long hours results in psychological instability among children.
3. Drug abuse: Studies have shown that children who work as laborers tend to develop a tendency for substance abuse. The prolonged distance from the family hampers the overall mental growth of a child.
4. Loss of Innocence:
Innocence is the key to identifying a child. A child frequently is robbed of their simplicity due to the incorporation within the mainstream industrial workforce. Child labor has the power to cripple imagination by developing maturity. At a tender age, loss of innocence is the result of the overburdening responsibility of the family.
5. Social Impact: Child labor often leads to high rates of school dropouts. After the days’ hard work, it becomes impossible for a child to continue formal education. The increase in dropout rates hinders better opportunities in the future. In developmental countries, child labor is prevalent even today. With the amplification of the lack of education, the overall literacy rate of the country is fettered. It also hinders the elevation of poverty.