Labor Economics: Child Labor

The labor market today has obtained a flow of issues that have brought change in the economic sector. These changes have been caused by several factors, which include globalization and the economy itself. Among the issues which are currently observed in the labor market, child labor has been a major challenge faced by the world at large. It has been a major concern in the global issues of economics although it is viewed to be more experienced in regions like Africa and Asia.

This paper discusses the reasons of why Child labor is practiced, as well as the assumptions about its practicing in some regions more often than in others in the modern world. In the Cornell Daily Sun article of December 2004, one can find lots of useful information about why, how and where the child labor is practiced based on the research done by Professor Nancy Chau of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs. Labor has been conclusively defined as work or activities that deny the child an opportunity to be in school as well as an opportunity to be a child in terms of behavioral activities such as playing, interaction or learning (Oran 46). Professor Chau’s definition can be backed up by Eric Edmond’s view on the subject. However, he adds that normal domestic chores can be calculated into child labor if the child does not get enough time to study (Edmonds 23) Professor Chau’s claim on child labor and its causes is that it is not only that the child labor cases are caused by poverty.

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It is for sure a major factor but, there are indeed other crucial factors that add up to the main one. According to Professor Chau’s claim, the regions’ Gross Domestic Product may be the cause of the problematic practice. It is claimed that regions of low GPDs are affected by child labor practice (Oran 32). In another observation, Chau believes that the practice may be developed by the myth that children’s’ way of doing things better than adults would make them the appropriate substitute in the labor market. In her research it is evident that, in a country like Paraguay, a child makes about a quarter of what the rest of the whole family make. These assumptions lead to the fact that adults ignore the fact that a child needs education. Instead, the parents value the idea of bringing more children rather than bringing up educated children. Having observed the areas mostly stricken by child labor and various factors that cause the problem, Professor Chau suggests some solutions to the problem.

She gives a very good example of Brazil’s plan to pay adults for keeping their children in school (Oran 5) .This seems to be a valid and very reasonable solution that would help to deal with the problem in our society. I would definitely agree wit her, although in my opinion, this would be a solution for only the countries which are able to budget compensation for child education. What about the countries practicing Child labor due to poverty that cannot afford compensation for child Education? Child labor takes out the dignity and the rights of our children. Including children as laborers, often in dangerous working conditions, should be discouraged at all cost.

Works Cited

Edmonds, Eric.

Child labor. The national bureau of economics research, 2007. Oran, Olivia. Issues Around Child Labor. Cornell Publishers.



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