Child Labour: A Unilateral Issue

Syed Mohammad Abdullah

The International Labour Organization (ILO) reported 160 million children subject to child labour back in 2020, a number which has inevitably grown. Child labour is a global issue. Nearly one in ten children is subject to child labour around the world. It creates life-changing problems in the child’s life that include malnutrition, drug addiction, and it often changes their role in society, as without getting the right of an education, they are forced out into the “workforce”, for themselves and often for their families. Millions of children work in unsafe areas in coal mines, brick kilns, or working with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture, or in factories operating dangerous machinery without any formal education or instruction. Along with being deprived of their rights, some victims are exposed to worse crimes. One such crime includes slavery in even this day and age, held against their will, they are forced to work for their owners.

Child labour also gives rise to organized beggary. The number of beggars today has significantly increased compared to several decades ago. In recent decades, beggary has turned into a lucrative business.

Children are sent off to stops, traffic signals, outside of restaurants or shops, and virtually anywhere to collect money for their so-called organizations. At times, victims are even physically disfigured to attract more money from people, and are even severely harmed if they fail to collect enough money. Some child labour victims are exploited through debt slavery, which is when a person is forced to work to pay off a debt.

Parents who are indebted send their children out to pay off their debt.

Another consequence of child labour is the commercial sexual exploitation of children. This includes child prostitution, the use of children in pornography, and the trafficking of children in sex trades.

it is estimated that there may be as many as 10 million children involved in prostitution worldwide.

This is done by tricking children or by force by adults or a third party. As well as causing physical harm to the child’s body, the victim is also subject to mental trauma.

Victims might also be involved in other unlawful activities. Child labour has given rise to the production, sales, and trafficking of drugs. Some distributors have turned to children for the transport of their products. Above all, they are also at risk of being addicted themselves.

Other activities include partaking in robbery, shoplifting, hijacking cars, etc.

They are often forced to take part in these activities. At times, children are often pushed by parents themselves to meet the needs of their families. Gangs are also known to recruit children, who are forced into labour, for various illegal activities.