Ever wonder what could be going through the mind of a victim of child labor? There are over 78 million children working hours like fully grown adults, being harassed, abused, exploited, and used as a tool. This is what child labor is. This illegal act should be enforced in every country. Children are given away to whoever has the highest bid for the child and will occasionally be given away for free to anyone willing to take them. These unseen crimes are being taken way too lightly. Children are actually working in sweatshops, being abused and paid in cents to create products that are sold for $75 or more in stores all around the world, like the US and even to India. Child labor should be taken control of and be proclaimed illegal for every country.
Child labor is work for anyone under the age of 18 that harms them or exploits them in some way (physically, mentally, morally, or no education).
For example, a child can be exploited when working, “If a child is being underpaid or not paid at all, they are being exploited” (CLPP).
Similar to what I explained before, when a child is being paid 75 cents for a product being sold for 200 dollars that’s exploitation. Some children of child labor don’t even get paid at all, robbing them for their daily payments. In addition, a child named Ashok was physically harmed while under the work of child labor, “I was beaten for scratching my skin” (Wilberforce).
This testimonial shows how high and harmful standards are for child labor. A simple action such as scratching your skin can get you abused. All in all, child labor is unfit and malignant work for children.
In America, people believe that child labor does not affect them, not realizing that the Persian rugs they put their feet on are made by suffering children in a dark, small room. They dont realize the soccer balls that their children are kicking around outside are made by children themselves, who slave away for little or no pay at all. In 1999, ap-proximately 250 million children are employed or ...
Child labor is another way to dehumanize a child. In fact, a few girls work as maids, “Maids typically are cut off from friends and family, and can be easily physically or sexually abused by their employers” (CLPP).
It is only human rights to live within one’s will, but when one has no say in what their actions are then that person is being dehumanized. These children aren’t strong enough to fight of these child laborers. Their vulnerable to anything the employers have in store for them. In addition, child laborers do not cover injuries, “…children who are injured in the fields often must pay for their own medical treatment despite another provision in the labor code that makes employers responsible for medical expenses for injuries occurred on the job” (Common Dreams).
This means that is a law that states that employers need to pay for medical costs of injuries made on the job, but some way these children need to pay for their own medical costs. This is because their employers dehumanize them in a way that takes advantage of their young age letting it be that the employers don’t pay for medical treatments. As a result, many children suffer through the healing process or die from the uncared injuries and unpaid medical payments.
Not everyone agrees that child labor is harmful. For example, it is said that, “Some child workers themselves think that illegal work (such as prostitution) should not be considered the definition of child labor” (CLPP).
This is because these child workers would like to be respected that their work is legal. The truth to that manner is that these children feel the way they do because they have no other place to work. Also in an opinion survey results were said that, “An average of 3.02 said that ‘If the parents of a child cannot support their child, then child labor is okay” (think quest).
This result shows that some people actually support the idea of child labor. They feel that the child would survive on his own payments if the child’s parent’s payments aren’t enough. In conclusion, there are different sides to child labor.
Child labor doesn’t only take place in third world countries but also in the United States. In the US, “The Fair Labor Standards Act states that the minimum working age is 15 with some expectations” (CLPP).
" Rajesh (name changed) is 13 years old and fled his Biratnagar home about seven years ago for dream city, Kathmandu. And once here, he did what millions of other street urchins do - beg, clean cars and shoes, peddle drugs, and pick rags or even pockets. Kicked and abused (in more ways than one), survival was a race everyday. It seemed like a hellish meeting with life, head on... ." Sounds like ...
This means that if you are 15 and over you are lawfully allowed to maintain a job, but if you are younger, than you are breaking the law. Hundreds of thousands of children work illegally in the United States. Furthermore, teens are also exploited without knowing it, an article says, “…got paid less than minimum wage took and took taxes out paychecks” (American Edu).
They were exploited by earning less than what they worked for. Then they found out that their jobs were making them victims to child labor. Child labor is all around us.
There are many hidden industries and companies that support child labor. For instance, Nike is a supporter of child labor, “Nike’s success story based on a good name and advertising alone but also attached to it is the tears of tortured workers and child labor” (American Education).
It is true their child labor and lack or human rights brought them to their glory and success, but under what circumstances? These children are tormented and forced to work cheap labor, it is not according to their will for the labor they do. Another hidden company is Coke, “Coca-Cola… indirectly benefiting from the use of child labor in sugar cane fields of El-Salvador” (Common Dreams).
This means that products all around us grow success with the help of young children. It’s hard to believe that many of the companies we support are the ones who hold this kind of labor. Believe it or not, child labor is unfortunately practiced all around the world.
We should care for the lives of these children. They have suffered so much; social exclusion, discrimination, poverty, torture and more. They are working hazardous and dangerous jobs that put them in danger of injury or even death. Beyond compassion, consider who the children of today become in the future. Just like Craig Kielburger said, “The change starts within each one of us and ends only when all children are free to be children”.
Annotated Work Cited
American Education. “Child Labor awareness”. N.p.,n.d. We b. 26 Jan. 2010. . This site gave me a lot of information on companies of child labor in the US and how were trying to stop them.
The current world population stands at over 7 million, out of which around 26.3% is below the age of 15. According to International Labour Organization, more than 215 million children of this age group have been employed in various economic activities. Child Labour across the world ranges from petty domestic helps to workers in Hazardous industries and even prostitution. Its occurrence is ...
CLPP. “Child Labor Photo Project”. N.p.,n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2010. . Basic definitions of child labor and answers to many questions that were repeated over and over again.
Common Dreams. “Child Labor and the effects”. N.p.,n.d. Web. May 17, 2010. I got a lot in information and topics I should have wrote about in my essay.
Free The Children. “ Free The Children”. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2009.. It was read for more information and a few better understandings for the other articles. I read it and had thoughts of what was going on.
Thinkquest. “different opinions of child labor”. N.p.,n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2009. I goqt the quotes from the different opinion topic on my essay from here.
Wilberforce. “Child Labor and Trafficking”. Worlded.org. N.p.,n.d. 17 Nov. 2009. Web. 17 Nov 2009. This site provided me a lot of information to use when many other sites didn’t have the information.