Throughout the world, mainly in third world countries, the amount of children forced into a work environment is quickly becoming an issue, which is rarely dealt with in an appropriate manner. Recent reports have shown that if these countries continue to receive little or no attention from the government, along with educational institutions, there will be severe mental and physical impacts on children, as they will not receive the proper education they deserve. This may lead to poverty, crime, and abandonment rates to rise. Despite the countless attempts by many people to save these children’s future, the government’s determination to save these children’s lives is limited. The diminutive help that is been provided by the government of these third world countries is not helping to ensure that these children will be given the proper education and childhood they deserve. If help is to be received by the government and educational institutions, it will safeguard the fact of children not having to deal with the physical and mental harm that comes from dealing with adult responsibilities.
From the beginning of time, children have been taught from a young age that anything that can harm another person is something that is not acceptable and tolerated. In today’s society, people see that child labour not only harms children physically, but also mentally. In many third world countries, such as Sri Lanka, the amount of injuries and mutilations caused at factories where children are forced to work is quickly rising. Many people agree, by saying:
“It is unacceptable that immigrant workers labour in unsafe conditions for wages insufficient to support their families. It is unacceptable that immigrants, including children, are shackled and detained in deplorable conditions. And it is unacceptable that already this year immigrants have died by the dozens in the California desert or in other parts of the Southwest.” (Los Angeles Time).
Since there are no laws in these countries that promise the safety of these citizens, injuries are being caused by the unmaintained machinery on farms and in factories, pesticide poisonings, and mishaps with ceramics and fireworks. Reports have shown that in many countries, pesticide poisonings is the biggest leader of deaths in child labourers:
“Pesticide poisoning is one of the biggest killers of child labourers. In Sri Lanka, pesticides kill more children than diphtheria, malaria, polio and tetanus combined. The global death toll each year from pesticides is supposed to be approximately 40000” (The International Labour Organization and the quest for social).
These injuries not only have an affect on children at a young age, but they can be carried out in their adult years. Research has shown that children who carry and preform heavy manual labour, and children who work long hours in unmaintained working conditions, often develop severe cases of exhaustion as they become older. Children are also capable of developing mental and emotional behaviours. Starting from a very early age, children will start to display adult behaviours, such as smoking, and acts of aggression towards people. While many boys are injured, females are the ones that are at the greatest risk of being injured. Although they are not exposed to the harm that is shown on the outside, many females are being exposed to diseases, which are mutilating their body. Millions of females in Africa are being forced into prostitution every year, which exposes them to HIV/Aids and may also lead to pregnancy. To ease these difficulties and harm in these children’s lives, the only pain-relieving cure they can turn to is drugs. Research has shown that:
A rise in trafficking of girls, aged 8-15, in Pakistan has occurred during this last decade. There have been 1 million Bangladeshi and more than 200,000 Burmese women trafficked to Karachi, Pakistan. A Bengali or Burmese woman could be sold in Pakistan for US$1,500 – 2,500 – depending on age, looks, docility and virginity. For each child or woman sold, the police claim a 15 to 20 percent “commission”. (Paper on Globalization & Human Rights”).
In many countries such as Canada and America, people do not realize the damage done when engaging in the purchase of cheap products from third world countries. Children are forced to work in unsafe factories to make these products, and unknowingly, countries are depriving the children of their childhood. Majority of children in third world countries lack the time to fully grow up and fully experience what it’s really like to be a child. From a young age, children are forced into unsafe and unmaintained working conditions, and since the government seldom helps, these children are denied basic health care and nutrition. Studies have shown that children deprived of their childhood may become violent. In addition, these children usually become more physically and mentally violent towards other people in the future. Research conducted shows that children, who are deprived of a childhood, could have a profound effect on the brain of the children. As children become older, they start to develop disturbed behaviours, such as antisocial personality disorder, which cannot be treated with medicine. These children’s decisions may become unmoral, and sometimes flawed. Many of these same children are neglected by parents and have a much smaller brain than that of a child who was not neglected and did not fail to have a childhood. Many believe that if the government of these countries is to “focus on children whose lives have been devastated by AIDS, millions of children who are missing their parents; their childhood, their future , it can make a real difference. Your voice is needed in a global movement that can change their world.” (Pierce Brosnan)
Lastly, research has shown that the vilest effect of Child labour is the lack and prevention of education. Around the world, the growing amount of poor people is resulting in millions of young children out of school and into a workplace. Due to the long hours at work, children lack the time and energy for school and education. Illiteracy among children in Asia is rapidly growing due to the high poverty rates. Now, education is not considered a priority as much as making money in order to survive and support their families in third world countries. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has conducted a study and has determined that over 215 million children in Asian countries, between the age of five to seventeen are currently working. Many of these jobs done are illegal in these countries, such as working and handling drugs. These jobs put the children’s lives in danger, as many of these jobs include hazardous and unsafe environments. Although these children are paid, countries such as India, violate the minimum age laws, and these jobs injure children emotionally, mentally, and physically as they involve abuse, and the act of slavery, which prevents these children from attending school. From when a child is young, parents show these children the importance of education, but in many countries in the east, parents do not encourage children to attend school, as they do not emphasize the importance of knowledge, mainly because the parents themselves did not have the opportunity to attend school. Many people believe that “Child labour and poverty are inevitably bound together, and if you continue to use the labour of children as a treatment for the social disease of poverty, you will have both poverty and child labour to the end of time.” (Grace Abbott)
The poor conditions, such as those in India and Africa, bring the sense of injustice and hardship. The feeling of corruption can be felt just by the amount of children forced into a workplace, which can bring emotional pain to even those who are not exposed to it. We can see that with studies done, people feel the sense of injustice and corruption. When going through the many studies conducted on third world countries, nearly all families are exposed to poverty and corruption in the society. The children who are involved with child labour are the ones who feel the most pain, as they are exposed to physical, and mental pain, deprivation of a proper childhood, and the deprivation of education. Some of these children learn to deal with the pain after undergoing it on a day-to-day basis, while other children may experience depression and mental illnesses. In the end, although these issues can be solved with the help of the government and the countries citizens, it is unlikely that anyone will step up and speak out for the many children who are deprived of a life.