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Child Labor

Child labor issue is not a new problem in the developing countries. Some poor countries still lead primitive mode of life using child work as a norm. Child labor is considered as one of the most widespread induction evolution issues of poor nations. As indicated by UNICEF (2014) statistics, 150 million of the world's children between the five and fourteen ages are working in their countries and occupying the jobs that introduce negative effect on those young people. India and Ethiopia are the developing nations with high population rates, which also use child labor. Children in India often attend schools, and most of them participate in field work, which is accounted as a normal situation. India has 10.12 million child workers matured between 5 to 14 years. As for Ethiopia, 85% of children are involved in labor activities. Each of two countries relay heavily on child labor in their economic income. There are numerous questions raised regarding the issue. How pervasive is the problem in each country? What are the social factors that caused this phenomenon? Being aware of the situation with child labor and trying to eliminate this problem, this study will examine the case and will introduce the answers t the question mentioned above.

How Pervasive Is This Problem In India and Ethiopia?

India is ranked as the country with the highest population after China. Therefore, the number of Indian babies is around 440 million, comprising more than 40% of the whole population. On the other hand, Ethiopia is ranked as the second country with the greatest population in SSA, around 80 million. It is considered as one of the poorest nations, 44% of the population is children under 15. Having a huge number of children, both India and Ethiopia usually face several problems in caring to attain their potential. In fact, the problem of child labor is acknowledged as an acute type of child abuse and neglect. The side effect of labor from early childhood on physical, mental, and mental advancement has not been studied till the end. However, child labor impedes human capital development by leaving the working child with little time or stamina to concentrate on training, in this manner sustaining destitution into future generation.

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The magnitude of child labor in the industry does not shrink with the industrial and legislative evolution, but it increases by the population size, which depends on the failure to satisfy social and legislative mechanisms. 85% of Ethiopian children were involved in different types of difficult labor operations, while only 38% of children were presenting at school. Ethiopian children are involved into diverse jobs. It allows employers t give them very cheap salary at the end of the work. For example, children are usually involved into primitive occupations, like basic agribusiness, dispatch rider, mining, street vending, construction, manufacturing, shoe shining and transport. This work does not require any specific knowledge and be done by a child, but it is also a hard work, which must be completed by adults only. In fact, Ethiopia depends heavily on subsistence cultivation funds, which led children to work on family resulting in having more spread families in the country. Ethiopian children in rural areas are more considerably to be occupied in productive activities than in housekeeping activities; while in urban areas, children are more occupied in housekeeping efficacy than in productive activities.  Surprisingly, in Ethiopia no one can eat without having a work. This rule is related not only to adults or youth, but also to children under 3. For example, children under 3 years old can be engaged into taking care of sheep and cattle. Also, girls tend to work in households, such as making coffee or helping mothers and collecting firewood’s.

Indian children are involved in numerous tough jobs that are not suitable for those tiny creatures. The phenomena of child labor has an old fashioned history in India, which estimates the magnitude of child labor in India domain among 60 million and 115 million children who are working in the country, ranked as the highest number of labor involved children. Children in India are employed in unprotected and degrading jobs, making them to be in risk and without having support from other people. Children in India are working in risky as well as non-risky constructions. For instance, the industries subjecting children to hazardous jobs are as follows, tobacco factory, cement manufacturing and assembling, carpet weaving, cloth printing, dyeing and weaving, industry of matches, wool polishing and the construction factory.

Although the laws in many developing countries forbid child labor, but absence of material and resources does not allow following how the low is implemented in reality. Additionally, due to the low living standards in many households in developing countries, people make children work and get extra income to meet the basic needs of the family.

What Structural Factors Account for This Problem in Each Country?

Trying to discover why the phenomenon of child labor is spread in Ethiopia and India, complex and various interconnections between children, household, and community should be involved in problem consideration. Communities play a big role in increasing the level of child labor. For instance, both Ethiopia and India are considered as a medium income countries that can develop better, but if there is no good government that takes control and responsibility of the society, it definitely will fail and disrupt. As a result, child labor is a source of income for poor families.

There are many social factors that play a serious role in raising the number of poor families in both Ethiopia and India communities that lead to the expansion of the size of the phenomenon of child labor. Ethiopia and India share the same causes that contribute to the social problem of child labor. For example, an unequal distribution of economic growth benefits between the citizens leads to society inequality in general. As a result, the primary struggle for both Indian and Ethiopian families is poverty, which drives to every socioeconomic problem in their societies. Family’s poverty leads to higher level of child labor involvement. There are many poor households, which rely primarily on the income from child labor. In some cases, child labor is the only source of family income du to different reasons. Therefore, children are forced by poverty to involve in different kinds of jobs.

In India some rural families, who own farms and cannot get the necessary income from their lands due to failure of land appropriate development, are displaced to cities in order to find a livelihood, resulting in employing their children. Many poor children with some health issues or weak enough to be deprived of complicated jobs usually can do anything in order to have little money. Many factories exploit the weakness and fearless of children in order to gain what they want at a small cost as the salary of a child is significantly lower than that of adults. Even being poorly paid and bullied into compliance into engaging in work for long hours, children accept any kind of job. Moreover, children’s hand is widely used in the carpet industries for having a high quality of specific articles in India. Lack of schools and compulsory education is also among the factors specified as supporting child labor. It has been noticed, education can be a powerful impact on the supply of child work.Moreover, a small number of children who attend schools in India usually reach the sixth and then they drop out. One of the possible reasons behind this situation is that families think that school is just a waste of time and this leads the parents to take their children out of school and replace them into a work, which will benefit the family. High population growth, leads to high unemployment rates and increases dependency rate.

Ethiopian children face many challenging factors pushing them to be involved in labor market. The obvious reason for child labor in all countries that exercise this term is poverty; children demand to assist their families and financial deficit, which makes to spend their childhood in working. Lack of education is one of the most important factors affecting the increase of child labor. For example, there are some areas in Ethiopia far from the city center which has no access to quality schooling; therefore, children resort to the child work by the assist of their parents as the work is the only way to gain the future career. Another reason for missing school is that poor families cannot afford it.

Child exploitation in war is the most dangerous form of child labor that threatens the lives of children. The number of the bloody battles in sub-Saharan Africa due to the multiplicity of national and tribal conflicts and the spread of the insurgency is one among the factors that introduce child labor in Ethiopia. Some orphaned children are involved into child labor because of their circumstances, which force them to choose this way. Children do not require high salaries and do not protest like adults do. A big number of companies depend on children work in the third world countries.

As a matter of fact, we have to look into account that the exploitation of children is not due to economic situation but also to the presence of other minor factors, such as social class issues, poverty, and lack of education. In some developing communities, there is a rule that poor children have the right to work. Being poor, these children and their parents do not have an opportunity to strive for law and truth because no one recognizes the right of these children to labor-free life and education. Another point to notice is that farmers tend to have more salary by the amount of produced items; as a result, farmers are encouraged to have more children to help collect the cultivated goods.

Efforts to Reduce/Eliminate the Social Problem

Childhood is an important stage of human life, requiring care and love, which is usually responsible for child growth and shaping his or her future personality. Family is considered as the most important social institution that guides children and has an effective role in shaping their minds, especially the father and the mother. In case of parents’ loss or disintegration of family, it will result in a child deprived of proper socialization. Therefore, communities provide some institutions and organizations that take special care of orphan children. Beside, an important role that families play in preventing child labor, some governmental and non-governmental institutions have a great impact on reducing the problem of child labor. For instance, according to international initiative to end child labor, the U.S. department of Labors Bureau of International Labor Affairs has given a financial award of 10 million U.S. dollars in order to sign an agreement to World Vision to ban exploitation of child labor in Ethiopia that will concentrate especially on child work in rural areas and the traditional waving industry. Moreover, this project is cooperation between the U.S. and Ethiopian government, which will focus on the local and national levels. Furthermore, the amount of money will be spent on children to reintegrate them to the right path in encouraging them to get education.

Governments have the ultimate responsibility upon taking care of children. Indian government has ratified many conventions in order to reduce the problem of child labor. For example, India signed the UN convention that deals with the rights of children in December, 1992. The policies toward child labor in India, which have been announced by the Indian parliament in 1987, declare that child work is acceptable in limited specific occupations and processes. For instance, there are some industries where children are not allowed to work in, such as bidi making, cement manufacturing, wool cleaning, building and construction work, explosives and fireworks, cloth printing and match manufacturing.

Child is a person with specific demands. Even the top priority of any nation could be to protect its children’s rights and to ensure bright future and promising career growth for their little ones. Any abuse of such immature brain remains a permanent spot. Even though international regulatory agencies have done their best to ensure strict application of child labor laws, it still needs more flexibility to support certain low-income families or nations, who are either unable or unaware of this cancer. This is the most sensitive issue of the day and this is where the future of the world peace and security lays.

a)Based on your research, predict what this social problem will look like in next ten years in each country.

Participation rates for children

Having checked this statics, it is possible to say that the number of children involved in child labor will reduce. The table indicates that the child labor rates reduced by 6% in Ethiopia and by 38% in India. The same high results and even better ones are expected in 10 years due to the increased international intervention and policies aimed at regulating legal aspects of child labor and solving the poverty issue in the countries of the third world.


a)What can someone interested in this social problem learn from comparing these two countries?

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