A young child dies from exhaustion, their limp body has been pushed to the very limit and they finally give in to death and another child has just become a statistic. This child was not even eleven years old. They had just completed their twenty hour day and then stumbled home 6 miles from where they were working. They saw their house in the distance which gave them hope to keep on walking. They dragged their feet towards the corner where they slept; their eyes are drooping not just from physical tiredness but from the pain of living this way.
The last thing this little child saw was darkness, the last thing this weak child felt was coldness and the last thing this unfortunate child could do, was give up. At last this child is able to rest. This child was a victim of child labour. So, I ask you; is child labour morally right? I will argue that the exploitation of children is always wrong but that sometimes child labour is a necessary evil. I will also distinguish between child labour and child work.
According to UNICEF, there are an estimated one hundred and fifty eight million children aged five to fourteen in child labour worldwide.
Millions of children are engaged in dangerous situations or conditions, such as working in mines, working with chemicals and pesticides in agriculture or working with dangerous machinery. They are everywhere but invisible, working as domestic servants in homes, labouring behind the walls of workshops, hidden from view in plantations. If there is nothing wrong with child labour, then why is the exploitation so secret? Do you ever wonder when you go into certain shops how a handmade t-shirt can be so cheap? Or on the other hand, products which are sold to us at extremely high prices and we assume. .elivers newspapers before school might actually benefit from learning how to work, gaining responsibility, and a bit of money. If a child has a part time job they can learn the value of money.
So I believe that the issue of child labour is not simple. As Unicef’s 1997 State of the World’s Children Report argued, children’s work needs to be seen as having two extremes. On one hand, there is the destructive or exploitative work and, on the other hand, there is beneficial work – promoting or enhancing children’s development without interfering with their schooling, recreation and rest. ‘And between these two poles are vast areas of work that need not negatively affect a child’s development.’ My firm belief is that there is a difference between child labour and child work and that in both cases the issue is whether or not the child is deliberately being exploited.