The Importance of Synergy in Preventing Child Labor

Children are the next generation of the nation. They must be educated to become people who have high spirits with broad knowledge. To achieve these expectations, they must carry out their obligations and get their rights.

Every child has rights. Do you know about child rights? In 1923, Jebb submitted a draft children’s declaration at the Geneva League of Nations. Then, the United Nations promulgated the rights of the child in 1954. Finally, in 1989, the draft was passed as the Convention on children’s rights. In Indonesia, the Convention on children’s rights was approved through Presidential Decree No.36/1990 of 28 August 1990.  What are the ten rights of the child?[1]

  1. The right to have a name or identity
  2. Right to have citizenship
  3. Right to get protection
  4. Right to food
  5. The right to physical health that will make children develop optimally
  6. Right to recreation
  7. Right to education
  8. Right to play
  9. Right to participate in the development
  10. Right to equality

Of the ten children’s rights above, it turns out that there are still many children who cannot enjoy their rights. For example, children lose their right to play due to family economic constraints, increasing child labourers. In your opinion, what is meant by child labor?

Child labor is a term for employing young children (<18 years). Generally, their labor is exploited for little pay and the work they do hinders their personal development, security, health, and future prospects. This term applies except for children aged 13-15 years who may do an easy job as long as it does not interfere with their physical, social, mental, and future development. In addition, children aged > 14 years may also do work that is part of the education or training curriculum to develop their talents and interests. [2]

The United Nations puts the number of child laborers at 160 million, the first increase in two decades since 2000. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) found 8.4 million children have been pushed into child labor for four years. Meanwhile, 9 million children are at risk of experiencing the same thing by the end of 2022 due to the pandemic. The worst-case scenario is even more severe: ILO simulation models show the number of children at risk could increase to 46 million if they do not have access to social protection coverage. [3]

This number is enough to show that many children have lost their rights. As we know, the world of children is playing. Children should be able to enjoy their childhood by playing and developing their potential through family assistance. Unfortunately, we meet many children who cannot enjoy their childhood because they have to work. In fact, the contribution of child labor violates children’s human rights because their work has a negative impact on children’s physical, emotional and social development.[4]

  • The Impact of Work on Children’s Physical Development

Physically, working children are more vulnerable than adults because they are still in their infancy. The work they do can cause accidents or illnesses that affect the development of physical health. The impact of accidents on child workers can be injuries or disabilities due to being scratched, cut, hit, bumped, etc.

Meanwhile, conditions that cause illness include a very hot or too cold workplace, a workplace that is too noisy, inhaled dust, inhaled chemicals (steam of glue/screen printing paint), a workplace that open the possibility to sexual exploitation. The effects of the disease include dizziness, fever, chills, damage to the nervous system (intellectual capacity, memory, and weak sense of taste), skin, kidneys, lungs, shortness of breath, cough, deafness, and contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STI/HIV/AIDS).

  • The Impact of Work on Children’s Emotional Development

Child labor carries risks with a work environment that makes it vulnerable to exploitation, harm, humiliation, and isolation. Often they receive abuse, injustice, and neglect by employers and other adult workers. This makes the child angry, vindictive, rude to peers or younger peers and lacks compassion and empathy for others.

  • The Impact of Work on Children’s Social Development

Child workers who do not have the opportunity to carry out activities such as playing, going to school, socializing with peers, getting the primary education needed in solving life’s problems, participating actively in society, and enjoying life naturally will certainly have an impact on their social development. They will usually be passive and selfish children, so they often have problems interacting/cooperating with others. Furthermore, they lack confidence in him because they feel humiliated.

Writer: Miftakhul Janah (Staf Magang Rumah Faye)
Editor: Nadia Amani Alya
Translator: Hasna Fatina


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