child labor

CHILD LABOR: ITS HARMFUL EFFECTS ON THE PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL A Term Paper Presented to Prof. Anville Villanueva Department of English College of Social Science and Humanities Mindanao State University Marawi City In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Course English 2 – Bb9 (Writing in Discipline) 1 st Semester, A.Y. 2014-2015 By Blaise G. Ungab

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its physical and psychological effects





A Term Paper

Presented to

Prof. Anville Villanueva

Department of English

College of Social Science and Humanities

Mindanao State University

Marawi City

In Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirement for the Course

English 2 Bb9 (Writing in Discipline)

1st Semester, A.Y. 2014-2015


Blaise G. Ungab

September 2014


Thesis Statement: Child labor nowadays is considered to be a social injustice due to its harmful effects on the physical and psychological life of the child.


Child labor cannot be abolished, instead the government should make a move to lessen the children working hours. In that case, that did not deprive the children their rights to education. It cannot limit their ability and their rights as a child.

I. Child Labor

A. Definition

B. Background / History

II. Causes of Child Labor

A. Poverty

B. Family migration from rural to urban areas

III. Effects of Child Labor

A. Physical

B. Psychological

IV. Solutions for Child Labor

A. Increasing family income

B. Declaring free obligatory education for all children

C. Birth control / Family planning


Parents should be the one to find work for the necessity of the family. Children should be enjoying and playing to enjoy childhood. And also the government should provide work for those who are unemployed.INTRODUCTION

The youths are the hope of the Fatherland

-Dr. Jose Rizal

Being a child is a stepping stone to become a youth. Nobody can skip childhood and directly become a youth.

Children are the sun of the dark future and the hope for a better tomorrow. Child labor is a kind of work that children do. Being a child laborer at the first place was not their choice. For example, both parents of the child is a laborer, we can conclude that perhaps their child would also became a laborer. Children engaged themselves in diverse form of economic activities because it is their way of living and for fulfilling their necessities.

Now can you say that it is possible to abolished child labor? If yes, can you think of possible ways for them to live in this kind of world? How can we expect them to get the money for their own needs? Besides, being a laborer is a moral job.

As the researcher, she came up a conclusion that we cannot abolish child labor, because their families cannot fulfill the basic needs which compel them to work at early age. Instead lets help convince them not to abandon schooling for it is the only way for them to become a wise man and to become a hope for the Fatherland.Child Labor

A. Definition

According to ILO (International Labor Organization) Convention, Child Labor is a kind of work that children should not be doing because they are too young to work, because it dangerous or otherwise unsuitable for them.

Child labor is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and psychological development. It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially, and morally dangerous and harmful to children. And it interferes the schooling by depriving them of the opportunity to attend school, obliging them to leave school prematurely and requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessive long and heavy works.

Child labor also involves children being enslave, separated from their families, exposed to serious illness and left to fend for themselves on the street of large cities at a very early age.

B. Background / History

There is work that profit children, and there is work that brings profit only to the employers. The object of employing children is not to train them, but to get high profits from their works.

--Lewis Hine 1908

Child labor is the act of employing children in order to make them work at a lower pay. This practice is considered to be exploitative in many countries. Earlier,

child labor was not a big problem as children as young as 4-5 years old would accompany their parents to aid in agriculture, weaving and other jobs (Pakhare,2011).

Jayashree Pakhare states in her narration in one of her article that:

History has witnessed many children involved in military campaigns. Although, child labor was not new to the world, it is believe that during 1780 and 1840, there was a massive increase in child exploitation. In 1788, more 60% of workers in textile mills of England and Scotland were children. Many laws were passed to eradicate child labor, but hardly succeeded. On 1836, the National Trade Union Convention made the first ever proposal to the government, stating that a minimum age for work established for children to work in factories and other jobs. In the same year, Massachusetts introduced the first ever State law, which required children below 15 years old, who were working in factories, to undergo compulsory 3 months of schooling each year.

In addition, gender plays a significant role in determining the different types of of work done by girls and boys. For example, girls predominate in domestic work, while are heavily represented in mining and quarrying. Business like to hire children because they worked in unskilled jobs for lower wages than adults, and their small hands made them more adept at handling small parts and tools.Causes of Child Labor

Child labor persists even though laws and standards to eliminate it exist. Current causes of child labor poverty, limited access to education and family migration from rural to urban areas. A. Poverty

Poor children and their families may rely upon child labor in order to improve their chances attaining basic necessities.

One of the most expected but nonetheless a contentious determinant of child labor revealed by these studies is poverty. The role of poverty has been the cornerstone of much of the thinking about child labor. Even in very poor nation, where the child labor is widespread and human being of all ages are subject to the laws, the children of doctors, lawyers, professors, and in general the middle classes are not found to be laboring (Basu and Tzannatos, 2002). It is widely acknowledge that one of the causes of child labor is poverty. Child labor can never be abolish as long as poverty remains.

B. Family migration from rural to urban areas

Rural to urban migration, like that in many developing countries, is often temporary. With either children moving along with their parents or being left behind in the countryside. The vast majority of child labor occurs in rural areas since poverty is very rampant. Many poor rural families struggle for a better life in urban areas. This pushes families to force their children to work in order to increase family income and ensure survival.

According to Hans van de Glind, 2010: Migration serve as a common economic coping or survival strategy for household in many parts of the world, and can provide

children and their families with new opportunities. Effects of Child Labor

Child labor deprives a child of a proper childhood. The child also suffers from personal, physical, and psychological torture. Child labor creates and perpetuates poverty. It condemns a child to a life of unskilled, badly paid work.

A. Physical

Child labor comes with serious physical health problems which negatively affect the childrens physical development, especially as major part of the child laborers come from poor families and malnutrition unfit to face the adversities of working life. The physical damage largely depends on the job type and number of hours worked. (Khair, 2005). Children are mostly vulnerable of physical immaturity and the exposure to unsafe workplace. Moreover, unhealthy working conditions can cause more physical damage. Almost all child laborers are affected by physical pain during working hours or afterwards. What makes the situation worse is that the child laborers who suffer from pain during working hours do not get well treatment to their health problems.

In David Parkers, 2002 Is work that is Safe for Adults also Safe for Chilren?, he narrates that:

Young children have a lower heat tolerance than adults, in part because their sweat glands are developing. Workplace heat standards that are adequate for adults may cause heat stress in children.

When work methods, tools and equipment are designed, childrens physical propositions are not considered. Working are at a greater risk of fatigue, injury and accidents because of ill-fitting tools and safety equipment.

There is clear evidence of physical effects of child labor such as physical effects of child labor such as physical injuries and disease caused by malnutrition, stress and direct exposure of to harm as a result of inappropriate clothing. Working conditions that are safe for adults may not be safe and healthy for children because of physical differences. The risks are greater for children at many stages of development and may have long term effects. According to David Parker, 2008: Factors that may increase the health, safety and developmental risk factors for children include: rapid skeletal growth, development of organs and tissue, greater risk of hearing loss, developing ability to asses risk, greater need for food and rest, higher chemical absorption rates, smaller size, lower heat tolerance.

B. Psychological

Working children are more vulnerable to psychological and social risks than of physical ones. The reason is that children lack the physical power and authority to do their jobs, their work is often not seen as productive, and they are at the lowest grades and level of workers (Woodhead, 1998). A study found psychological problems are evident among working children compared to non-working children.

The study recommended that the government and community institutions that are aware that work constitutes a danger to childs development making them vulnerable to psychological problems more than others, should make an effort to reduce child labor as priority of their agendas (Fekaday, Alem, Hagglof, 2006). These working children have low adaptive skill, low level of physical health, and use certain unwanted social behaviors. Working children have mood disorders, anxiety and stress more than non-working children.

Psychological and social risk of child labor can be summarized as follows: Social isolation and weak emotional connectedness (Woodhead, 2004), risky behaviors such as crime, use of drugs and narcotics (Taroni, 2002), emotional abuse and lack of fair treatment, including phtsical and sexual abuse (Woodhead, 2004), children who are neglected and discriminated feel isolated and have less emotional development than non-working children in the same age (Stegman, 2003), bullying, intolerance as well as rejection from colleagues and relatives (Woodhead, 2004), lack of job security and vulnerability to financial exploitation, inability to match between schools and work that causes anxiety, concentration problems, and ineffective coping (Woodhead, 2004).

The exposure of children to chemicals such as lead adversely affects the growth of the nervous system and this affect the well-being of a child (Banks, Ferretti, & Shuccard, 1997; Levendon, Kinra, Nelcler and Cronin, 2001).


We cannot possibly end or eliminate child labor. What we can do is to only reduce it and prevent it worsen. Child labor is a punishable offense and strict laws have made against it but there is a need to follow these laws strictly and every citizen needs to abide the laws sincerely. Education can play a vital role in stopping child labor and making people aware regarding the benefits of education over child labor. A. Increasing Family Incomes

One of the solutions to reduce child labor is to create a minimum family income. Many families need child labor or they put their kids out on the street or selling them in order to survive. If we can help these families to come out of poverty and get a steady money income, more and more children wont have to work in these types of conditions. However we must consider the fact that the government would be the one who has to support this system, and they must not be as enthusiastic about supporting such idea. They may not even have the capability to do so especially if it is a developing country.

Giving jobs to children relatives. This way the family wont be suffering and indeed will be very helpful, as adult wages are generally much higher than child wages.

Child labor is associated with the parents working status. If both parents are working, there is a great likelihood that the family will find the solution through having their children not to work. So, there should be a national care plan for national care plan for these families where fathers and mothers who are not working for certain physical disability. Having a support system and a clear national policy will enable this family not to send their children to work. Financial care should be emphasizing in any national programs as these children are coming from poor families and their work were for supporting their families financially. Moreover, legal and community programs should support women work that may propose an alternative for child work.

B. Declaring free obligatory education for all children

The determinants of child work and school enrollment are own childs characteristics. Childrens age and gender are expected to affect their work and schooling. Beyond a certain age, the older the child, the more likely he or she works and never mind schooling (Connelly, De Graft and Levison, 1996). Parents education also affects child labor and school enrollment through several channels. The education of parents affects their wages rates positively, proxies for their attitudes towards education, and also may be an input complementary to schooling on their production. All factors suggest that higher parent education increase school enrollment and reduce child labor.

Education influence children to respond and become skillful. In other words, it equips the children with the know-how to conquer their environment in order to provide for their needs. The government shall provide the rights of a child to education, and in partnership with International Organizations, set and define targets for ensuring education for all. The aim here is to increase the literacy level cum productivity level of the nation (Sinha, 2003).

According to Doftori, 2004 Education has a direct link to child labor because child labor is a symptom of a faculty / deprived educational system. Education is widely acknowledged as a vehicle for raising national productivity and for poverty reduction. Thus, people tend to embrace education to the extent that it can help them secure white collar jobs (White, 1996).

In order for educational policies to achieve their desired goals in terms of reducing child labor, they must be implementing along with genuine attempts to empower the populace and free them from poverty.

Examining the impact of food for educations programs on school participation and other education outcome have considerable limitations. These programs having modest effects on school participation. The examine of take-home rations distributed using programs placement as an instrument for receiving the program. They found that the take home ration reduce child labor.

Basic education refers to early childhood education, primary and lower secondary education as well as adult literacy. Goals of Education for All Programs are: Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children, ensuring that all children have access to and complete, free and compulsory primary education of good quality, improving all aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy, and essential life skills.

C. Birth control / Family planning

Exposure to family planning is modeled as a reduction in the price of children since it lowers the fixed cost of raising children, a cost that is independent of the level per child quality (Becker, 1991; Rosenzweig and Wolpin, 1982). The variation in the intensity and quality of family planning program intervention between treatment and control area produces a variation across villages and hence a variation in in the net price of births. Family planning program experiment is the outreach program where during home visits, trained female outreach workers deliver contraceptives and information.

Women in various parts of the world have been provided with improved birth control technologies for the past fifty years, the impact of these policies on the

fertility and health of women and on their lifetime productivity, consumption opportunities. Women who avoid ill-timed or unwanted births due to a population program will also be likely to invest more in each of their childrens human capital, and reducing poverty in the next generation (Schultz, 2005).

This program female outreach workers visited households in these villages once every two weeks to provide non clinical contraceptives (pills, condoms, and foam tablets) and administered depomedroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) injections, which provide pregnancy protection for a prolonged period of time. The outreach workers also provided information about the use of these contraceptives and potential side effects (Sinha, 2005).


The results of child labor force confirm that children from the poorest households are much more likely to enter the labor force than children from the better-off households. This support for the widely-held assumption that poverty compels to work.

It also shows that the links between adult employment and child labor support the theory that children are the last economic resource of the household. Children with the compulsion of taking up work at early age do not get proper development. It is imperative to explore a multitude of approaches in order to eventually reach the goal of eliminating child labor. Many working children, especially girls are prone to sexual abuse and harassment.

The child labor problems need to be conceived as a broader problem of poverty and survival techniques. For reducing child labor successfully, it must be accompanied by alternatives modes of income for those dependent on child labor. Some possible solutions to reduce child labor are the followings (i) improve basic education (ii) create awareness among parents about the consequences of risky child labor (iii) accelerate the food for education program (iv) improved the health services of rural health centers.

Poverty reduction is the key to reducing child labor. And also the government should provide some compensation to poor parents for sending their children to school.

REFERENCESBanks, E., Ferretti, L., and Shuccard, D., 1997, Effects of low level exposure on cognitive function in children a view of behavioral, neuro psychological and biological evidence Neuro-toxology, 18:pp. 273-282Basu and Tzannatos, 2002, The global child labor problem: What do we know and What can we do? World Bank Economic Review, Vol. 17, pp. 147-173

Becker, G. S., 1991, An economic analysis of fertility in Demographic and Economic change in Developed Countries, Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press and NBER

Connelly, R., Deborah S. DeGraft and Deborah Levison, 1996, Womens employment and child core in Brazil, Economic Development and Cultural Change , Vol. 44, pp. 619-656Dofton, M.R., 2004, Edsucation and Child Labor, London: Oxford University Press, Government Organization in Bangladesh and Nepal, Helsinki: Helsinki University

Fekaday, D., Alem A., Hagglof, B.D., 2006, The prevalence of mental health problems in Ethiopian child laborers, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47(9): pp. 954-959

ILO, 2004, Child Labor: a textbook for University Student Geneva

Khair, Sumaya, 2005, Child Labor in Bangladesh: a forward looking policy study, Geneva, Switzerland: International Labor OfficeLewendon, G., Kinra, S., Nelcher, R., and Cronin, T., 2001, Should children with developmental and behavioral problems be routinely screened for lead? Archieve of deiseases in childhood, 85:pp 286-288

Pakhare, Jayashree, 2011, Child labor factsParker, David L., 2002, Economic exploitation and the health of children: Towards a public health model Health and Human Rights: An International Journal, 5: 93-119

Parker, David L., 2008, Before their Time, University of Minesota

Rosenweig, M.R. and Wolpin, K.I., 1982, Testing the quality-quantity fertility model,Econometrica, 48(1): pp.227-240Schultz, T.P., 2005, School subsides foe the poor: Evaluating the Mexican Progresa Poverty Program Journal of Development Economics, 74(1), 199-250

Sinha, N., 2003, Fertility, child work and schooling consequences of family planning programs: Evidence from a experiment in rural Bangladesh, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 54(1): 97-128

Sinha, N., 2005, Child labor and Education the Gender Gap in Basic Education, Non-governmental organization as change agent, New Delhi: Saga Publication

Stegman, K., 2003, Child health and the Worst forms of Child Labor, Antislavery International Working Document, LondonTarouni, M., 2002, Poverty and Child Labor in Jordan, Anthropologist Study Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan, Amman

White, B., 1996, Globalization and Child Labor Problems, ISER Working Paper Series No. 221, Colchester: University of Essex

Woodhead, M., 1998, Children perceptions of their working lives: a participatory study in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua, Save the Children, Stockholm

Woodhead, M., 2004, Psychosocial impacts of child labor work, a framework for Research, monitoring and Intervention Journal of Childrens Rights, 12: pp. 321-377