Category: Opinion | Posted date: 2018-10-28 02:35:20 | Updated date: 2019-02-09 09:47:38 | Posted by: Olayinka Olalekan
There are occasions when poor families and their children rely upon the labour of their children to improve their chances of attaining some basic necessities
Child labour refers to the employment or involvement of children in any activity that deprives them of their childhood rights and exposes them to tasks meant for an adult or activities that has tendency to harm them mentally, physically, socially or morally. While this may gravely interferes with their ability to attend school regularly, it is a menace that exposes the minors to the inhumane beginning or wrong information at their unwitting stage of life.
Globally, child labour is considered exploitative and several legislations across the world prohibit it. Though, these laws do not consider all works by children as child labour. Of course, there are activities necessary for the cultural, moral and educational upbringing of children such as family and household duties, supervised training and so on.
Every child at his or tender age needs to be exposed gradually to household duties such as sweeping of the floor as one of the first things to be done every morning, watching of plates, petty cleaning of the room and so on. In the typical African countries, it is believed that one of the attributes of a well nurtured and cultured child is to know how to do these things which they believe is part of the pride of such child when he or she becomes an adult. But as much as this activities might be good for them, they still advice that the children should only embark on these works with the supervision of their parents in order to make it safe enough for them.
Recently, a research by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) had it that in the world’s poorest countries, around 1 in every four 4 children is engaged in child labour, the highest number of which 29% lives in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, four African nations (Mali, Benin, Chad and Guinea-Bissau) reportedly witnessed over 50% of children aged 5-14 working. According to the research, agricultural sector is the largest employer of them.
I know somebody would ask who are the employers of Labour of 5—14years old children. However, the majority of child labour experiences is found in rural settings and informal urban economy. Higher parentage of these children are predominantly employed by their own parents and guardians, rather than factories. Many of the parents see the children as tools to helping them achieve greatly in their farming endeavours. There is alarming percentage of these children hawking around the streets day and night, a good number of them are servants in the unstandardized restaurants and the likes while a few of them are apprentices under the roadside menial service providers.
CAUSES OF CHILD LABOUR
Child labour persists even though laws and standards to eliminating it exist. Some of the causes of child labour includes:
- Poverty and unemployment of parents.
- limited access to education or sound information.
- Repression (parents hold to the belief that they can do what they like with their children).
- Low and unsteady enforcement of laws against child labour.
- Unconcerned attitudes of people around whom child labour is taking place.
- Unsteady campaigns against the menace etc.
There are occasions when poor families and their children rely upon the labour of their children to improve their chances of attaining some basic necessities. More than one fourth of the world's people live in extreme poverty, according to 2005 UN statistics. The intensified poverty in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America causes many children in these parts of the world to become child labourers. Existing laws or codes of conduct are often violated there.
Another problem that makes child labour painfully exist in our societies is because when we witness it in our neighborhood many of us would not even bother to report it to relevant authorities. It makes no meaning to many people when they see children in such future-killing labours.
Child Labour remains a problem that should not be tolerated anymore. It consequences go beyond such children and their immediate families. The socioeconomic future of every country relies on the children of today. If many of the unwitting children are left in the wrong orientations today, tomorrow of such countries is at risk.
As many parents are not rightly informed on their own part, government of many countries also are insensitive to the future of their countries by paying little or no attention to the programmes and policies that would have empowered their children. The fees for elementary schools are not even affordable for some parents who have one or two children in the public schools and thereby making their children to soon get thrown to the streets for survival.
In some African countries, government and political office holders are much more concerned about who is going to succeed them after leaving the office than who will succeed their nations when their generations are no more.
Children getting exposed to sound education, right cultural and moral codes as timely appropriate is not just their right, it is an investment into their future and the tomorrow of their nations.
HOW TO DISCOURAGE CHILD LABOUR
Discouraging child labour should not be about campaigns alone or about pointing to enacted laws in the regards. It should be made practicable and realistically obvious in government plans, in our actions and dispositions to such situation when we witness it around us.
1. In order to save the children from this menace, there should be laws prohibiting anybody who has not relatively attained the age of an adult and or a prescribed level of education from getting employed or engaged in the activities that may be referred to as child labour.
2. Governments and well-to-do community members should come together to make education free or affordably accessible for the children. One of the problems affecting governments from doing this is wrong impression of the relevant leaders. Some political office holders would say they did not ask anybody to give birth to their children, believing that once you have given birth to a child you must be ready to take all responsibility. The fact is that the children they fail to take good care of today would become nuisance and source of threats to the nation’s security and economy tomorrow.
Government and well-to-do community members can synergise to make school fees free or affordable for children. Free or subsidised provision of school uniforms and free meal are possible just to encourage the children of the unprivileged parents in the public schools.
3. All of us should not silent about it when situations of child labour are witnessed around us. We should always see the act to be very future-killing and harmful to the nation at large.
Child labour prevents children from enjoying a normal and healthy childhood. It can also prevent them from getting no or smooth education.
Apart from reporting to the relevant authorities when such cases are noticed, you and I can also assist in stopping child labour by donating to the less-privileged in our society.
Olayinka Olalekan Popoola