Labor is work. The word labor has particular connotations of hard or arduous work. Child labor is something that is distinguished from labor per se. Child labor is work that is done by children.
The phrase child labor almost always has negative connotations: when this phrase used in the English language, the author or speaker is almost always highlighting that child labor is something undesirable.
Unfortunately, child labor remains a problem in the twenty first century. It is a problem that should not be tolerated any more. Childhood should be a time when children get to play, make friends and attend to their schoolwork so that they get the best start in life. Child labor – when children are made to work when they are still minors of age – is an obstacle to this ideal childhood. Given below are the solutions to prevent or stop child labor.
7 Solutions to Stop Child Labor.
1. Laws: Bringing in laws that makes it illegal for children to work until they reach a certain age makes it much easier to combat a culture of child labor. In addition, laws can be brought in that ensure that when teenagers do begin to work, they are not allowed to work beyond a certain maximum number of hours and they are paid a minimum wage. Such laws do not just provide an explicit statement that child labor and child exploitation are wrong. They also provide a framework and a set of prerogatives which mean that anyone who wants to challenge child labor has the official backing of the government.
2. Reduce poverty: Poverty is a key reason for the existence of child labor. When a family lives in poverty, they may very often end up sending their children out to work at a young age – even if everyone else in the family is working as well, when wages are very low, additional child labor may be needed to support the whole family. This situation is exacerbated if one or both parents is absent, has fallen ill or has passed away. So, reducing poverty in communities helps to support families and means that they do not need to send their children out to work.
3. Education: Studies show time and time again that providing free and good quality education to all children around the world helps to reduce the incidence of child labor. This is especially the case if schools provide free meals and uniforms so that poor families do not have to go without necessary things in order to send their children to school. Education widens children’s perspectives and shows them that they have so many more options in life than simply to labor at arduous, low paid jobs from childhood into old age.
4. Ethical consumerism: By spending their money wisely or inadvisedly, consumers can help to halt or can (often inadvertently) support child labor. By investigating the companies that you buy from and refusing to hand over your cash to companies that deploy child labor, you can stop funding sweatshops and other unethical businesses that are taking away the childhoods of young people across the globe. Do not be seduced by the often cheaper prices that sweatshop made goods can be associated with: these cheap prices come as a result of employing children, making adults work excessively long hours, and sometimes even employing slave labor. Child labor can also be involved in designer goods, too: many of the metals found in expensive cellphones, for example, have been mined by children.
5. Look after your employees: If you run a company, make sure to set a good example in terms of how you treat your employees. Do not just adhere to the minimum legal requirements for fair labor, but go beyond them, ensuring that everyone who works for you is taken great care of. If you set a shining example as an employer, you will have a knock on effect, as other employers will start to follow your example.
6. Be alert, and ready to act: Keep your eyes open and if you see any examples of child labor occurring do not be afraid to report them. If you have spare time, you could also train to work on a helpline, giving advice and support to children dealing with a variety of problems – including child labor. So many people just shut their eyes to the issue of child labor, refusing to see it when it is right in front of their face or refusing to inquire as to where that brand new laptop or that cheap new pair of pants came from.
7. Donate to charities: Donate your money to charities that help children to escape the trap of child labor. Donate, too, to charities that work to end poverty and lack of education more generally because these are two factors that contribute especially heavily to conditions in which child labor can flourish. Sometimes, we are too busy or simply not in the right place to dedicate ourselves to the fight against child labor. Fortunately, there are dedicated charity workers out there who do spend almost every day tackling this issue and our money can help them to keep up their good work.
Child labor prevents children from enjoying a normal, healthy childhood and it can also prevent children from getting the best education for them. Fortunately, there are many ways in which we can act to stop child labor. These include buying wisely, donating to charity and writing to the government to ensure that they pass and maintain laws that protect children from child labor. People who own their own companies are very well placed to ensure that they can provide a space where child labor is not tolerated. We should all act to prevent child labor, starting right away.