1. What is the definition of child labor?
Before going any further, let’s get to know about child labor first. Child labor refers to the exploitation of child labor which prevents them from going to school and going to school. Not only that, employing children is also dangerous, both in terms of physical, mental, social and moral.
However, not all work is considered dangerous for children, as long as it does not interfere with their health, school and personal development. For example, helping parents at home, helping family businesses to get pocket money outside school hours or during holidays, said the official website of the ILO. Because these activities can give them skills and experience and self-maturity.
2. What age is categorized as child labor?
What age can be categorized as child labor? According to the ILO convention in 1973, child labor refers to all work done by children under 12 years of age, heavy work done by children aged 12 years and dangerous work done by children aged 15- 17 years. This convention has been ratified and agreed by 171 countries.
In some countries, the application of the age of child labor can vary. For example, according to the Child and Youth Labor Act in India, the minimum age limit for children to work is 14 years. Meanwhile, the United States issued an amendment that allows children aged 14-18 years to work. In fact, in developed countries like the Netherlands, children as young as 12 years old can work as baby sitting and their income can be for additional allowance.
3. How many child laborers in the world?
Without you knowing, there are many child laborers around the world! According to the United Nations (UN), there are currently 218 million child workers worldwide. Many of them end up dropping out of school and do not have time to play like children in general.
Meanwhile, in Indonesia there were around 1.6 million child laborers in 2015, according to the Minister of Manpower, Hanif Dhakiri. They work in various fields, ranging from the domestic sector, palm oil industry to tobacco plantations, said the Coconuts website. Even so, the Ministry of Manpower in cooperation with the ILO promises to eradicate child labor in 2022.
4. What areas are prohibited by child labor?
There are some dangerous fields and children should not be entered. However, sometimes reality says otherwise. These areas include slavery, trafficking and forced labor, prostitution, pornography, production and trafficking of illegal drugs and narcotics to those related to armed conflict, the ILO stated on its official website.
In addition, children are also prohibited from doing work that endangers health, safety and morals, such as working with dangerous machinery and equipment, work that exposes children to hazardous chemicals, work that puts children at risk of physical, psychological and sexual abuse, to work that exploits labor to exceed normal hours.
5. Countries with problems with child labor
Child labor is a problem in almost all countries. However, there are some countries that treat child labor worse than others. Among these are Somalia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Myanmar, Liberia, India, Ethiopia, Congo, Chad and Bangladesh, according to the World Atlas website.
The reasons vary. For example, in Bangladesh many children who work at an early age because of poverty that ensnare. Forced, they must work to help the family economy. In Bangladesh, it is common to find child labor in the fields of garment, agriculture and others. In Congo, children are even forced into the armed forces and threatened by sexual harassment. Horrified?
6. The cause is not only poverty, but also other factors!
As you might guess, poverty is the main factor causing the emergence of child labor. Because living in financial deprivation, children are forced to work to help the family economy. In addition, unreachable school fees and poor quality education also encourage children to become laborers. Inadequate school facilities and distances that are too far are also a trigger.
Another cause is cultural beliefs that regard work as good for developing children’s character and skills. If the parent is a businessman, then it is a tradition that the child will continue the business. As a result, children are forced to work at a very early age.
7. The clothes you wear can be made by children, you know!
Without you knowing, some fashion lines employ children as laborers! For example, what happens to some well-known fashion brands that we often see in shopping centers. Activists call some of the fashion lines employing children as cotton pickers and clothing tailors. The child laborers come from various countries, such as Bangladesh, Uzbekistan and Myanmar.
The same was true for the GAP label which involved child labor problems in 2007. Apparently, this was done by fraudulent subcontractors and included child labor without agreement. Afterwards, GAP issued a policy to expel child labor and provide wages and access to schools, explained the Guardian website.