Child Labor and Development

Child labor refers to the employment of persons below the age of eighteen (or as provided by the law in other states). This in turn interferes with their education, play time and social life. Many children find themselves in this predicament for various reasons such as poverty. This impacts on the development of the child negatively.

Bhukuth, A. (2008). "Defining child labour: a controversial debate" Development in Practice

18,(4), 385–394.

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The author highlights the side effects of lead exposure to children laborers. Those exposed did not perform well in school as compared to children who were not exposed. The brain growth was affected thus developing slowly due to intoxication. Toxic elements and chemical fumes from factories affect the development of children’s lungs, giving them permanent respiratory complications.

Goldberg, E. (2004). Trade, reputation, and child labour in twentieth-century Egypt. London:

Oxford.

The authors also address the impact of chemicals (mercury vapor and methyl parathion) on children. Children health deteriorated leading to vomiting and diarrhea. The impact on the children was more dangerous as compared to grownups. Brain cells are damaged affecting their mental development and if exposure is persistent, there is permanent damage.

Duckess, K. (2006). Child labor robs children of childhood, impedes development.

Minneapolis, MN: Public Health Reports.

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The article says that children are denied basic needs such as food, education, security and clothing. Children work in hazardous places such as mines and prostitution brothels which diminish their self being leading to deterioration of their social and physical development. Due to the fact that children laborers do not go to school, their mental development is on a go slow and do not get the chance to be exposed and enjoy their rights. UNICEF has put in place programs to help children to obtain their basic needs and enforcing laws against child labor.

Divya B. (2009). Child labor- A hindrance in development. New Delhi: Oxford.

The article looks at the factors that facilitate child labor. They include: poverty, cheap labor to the factories and inadequacy of law enforcement. The case study of India does not allow any person under the age of 14 to work in any factories. In the gemstone industry, hazards like eye strain, headaches, and joint pains, dysentery and discoloration of hair may occur. These led to physical and mental underdevelopment of the children who polish the gemstones in the unhygienic conditions considering they were as young as five years of age. With the persistence of staying in the bad working conditions, most of the children ended up with cases of malnutrition. Several deaths are witnessed in the mines reducing life spans and affecting mortality rate.

Ravallion, M., & Wodon, Q. (2000). 'Does child labour displace schooling? Evidence on

behavioural responses to an enrollment subsidy'. Economic Journal 110, C158-C175.

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As much as there is an increase in household incomes, health wise, the consequences are worse. The article identifies child labor as a global health problem. A research was done in Egypt and it proved that working children were physically underdeveloped as a long-term effect as compared to those who did not. Moreover, the victims  suffered from impaired growth.

As demonstrated by the authors, child labor hinders children development mentally. Thus, they suffer from the deprivation of education, and physically as their bodies are overworked and exposed to diseases. They also suffer socially as they do not play with other children or interact with the outside world other than the work environment. Child labor also reduces the life span on the children as they do not live long due to the hazardous environments they work in. Fighting child labor has raised many challenges but laws have to be enforced to curb these activities. 

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