Economic Development and Child Labour

The menace of child labor does exist in several economies of the world. Its magnitude is higher in developing and under developed economies of the world. Countries such as Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Philippines, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, etc do contain a considerable number of child labor.

The primary economic activities did contribute maximum to the gross domestic product of the countries of the world in the early stages of the economic development of the economies of the world. These economic activities include agriculture, its related activities, animal husbandry, dairying, poultry, fishing, forestry, mining, etc.

Most of the illiterate parents did give birth to more number of children to engage in these economic activities. Struggling to get the basic needs was the utmost priority. There were neither savings nor investments by the uneducated parents. There were debts instead. Hence, many children did work as bonded laborers.The agriculture produce was not at all yielding the expected income. Drought and agricultural policies did add fuel to the problem. Some children seem to be working in hazardous mining and other industries in several nations of the world. The children are innocent and cannot demand higher wages. Lower wages means higher profits to the employers!.

The services sector too does employ considerable number of children. There are child labourers working in restaurants, hotels,banks, transportation sector, hospitals, schools and colleges. There are also reports that some children live alone and thus develop some bad habits.

Meagre budgetary allocations for the development of education and improper population control policies did contribute for the growth of child labor menace during the early days of economic development. The awareness levels among parents and children have improved due to developments in information technology.

The child labourers are often being harassed. Their innocence and lack of collective bargaining have been contributing for the growth of this menace. These children would like to get only the basic needs. In most of the cases, even these needs will not be provided!. But a lot of work would be extracted from them!.

Controlling the population growth rates is one of the best solutions. Providing high quality educational facilities, allocating incentives and other facilities, making parents and children aware of the importance of education, creating better employment opportunities, etc would go a long way to reduce the number of child laborers.

Cooperation among the nations of the world is compulsory.

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