Child Labor | Teen Ink

Child Labor

December 11, 2009
By Cammie PLATINUM, Vero Beach, Florida
Cammie PLATINUM, Vero Beach, Florida
23 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Child labor isn’t necessarily always hard excessive work, child labor is actually any economic activity done by a individual under 15 years of age. It ranges from favorable work that doesn’t put implication on a child’s education like helping out on the family farm to detrimental or cruel work like working in a sweat shop.

Some families live in poverty and in order to make ends meet, children under 14 are working. Some of which aren’t in school and have to work in dangerous, noxious conditions. Between the ages of five and fourteen, 250 million children work either part time of full time. About half of that 250 million work full time and all year. Around 61% are in Asia, 32% in Africa and 7% in Latin America. 70% of them work in risky environments and 70% work in agriculture. Although child labor is most common in undeveloped countries, it persists in advanced countries as well. For instance in the United States over 230,000 children work in agriculture and more than 13,000 kids work in sweatshops.

An example of one of these children is Iqbal. He was sold by his family to pay off dept. He was just four when he was sold. He was forced to work a carpet factory for twelve hours each day. He was beaten repetitively, abused verbally, and chained to his loom for six years. Severe undernourishment and many years of immobility in front of a loom stunted his growth. In 1992 this began to change when some of his friends from the carpet factory secretly attended a freedom day celebration to end bonded labor. Iqbal was free and he became a well known opponent of child labor. His movement frightened many of the people who used kids as bonded labor. After he received a human rights award in the United States in December, he was killed by a gunman hired by factory owners.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Oct. 28 2011 at 10:00 am
Most people don't realize how good life is in America, as opposed to other countries. Children and young adults do not have to work, and in fact most times, don't even apply for a job until they are atleast fifteen. As children, we are not forced to work, or even pressured about it. Life is good in America, and we need to help the other countires when they need it. Child labor is wrong, in my opinion. Children shouldn't have the pressure to support there family, that is the parents job. When they grow up, it will then become the child's responsibility to support there family. Plain and simple.

on Aug. 8 2010 at 7:31 am
Treefiddy BRONZE, Tarzana, California
1 article 0 photos 158 comments
People don't seem to understand in the countries that had/have child labor, the family was dependant that the child brought in an income, or the the family would starve. Conditions are so good in the Western world that it is hardly a reqirement, let alone a neccessity for survival. Even the severly impovershed are able to obtain food and shelter.