The threat of child labor exists in various economies around the world. Its magnitude is greater in the developing and underdeveloped economies of the world. Countries like Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Philippines, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, etc. contain a considerable number of child labour.
Primary economic activities contributed the most to the gross domestic product of the world’s countries in the early stages of economic development of the world’s economies. These economic activities include agriculture, its related activities, livestock, dairy, poultry, fishing, forestry, mining, etc.
Most illiterate parents gave birth to more children to engage in these economic activities. Fighting for basic necessities was the top priority. There were neither savings nor investments on the part of uneducated parents. Instead, there were debts. Therefore, many children worked as bonded labourers. The agricultural product was not giving the expected income. Drought and agricultural policies added fuel to the problem. Some children appear to be working in dangerous mining and other industries in various nations around the world. The children are innocent and cannot demand higher wages. Lower wages mean higher profits for employers!
The service sector also employs a significant number of children. There are working children who work in restaurants, hotels, banks, the transport sector, hospitals, schools and colleges. There are also reports that some children live alone and thus develop some bad habits.
Low budget allocations for educational development and inadequate population control policies contributed to the increased threat of child labor during the early days of economic development. Awareness levels among parents and children have improved due to advances in information technology.
Working children are often harassed. Their innocence and lack of collective bargaining have been contributing to the growth of this threat. These children would like to get only the basic necessities. In most cases, even these needs will not be met! But a lot of work would be taken out of them!
Controlling population growth rates is one of the best solutions. Provide high-quality educational facilities, allocate incentives and other facilities, make parents and children aware of the importance of education, create better employment opportunities, etc. would go a long way in reducing the number of child labourers.
Cooperation among the nations of the world is mandatory.