WHO IS A "CHILD"?
International conventions define children as aged 18 and under.Individual governments may define "child" according to different ages or other criteria.
"Child" and "childhood" are also defined differently by different cultures. A "child" is notnecessarily delineated by a fixed age. Social scientists point out that children’s abilities andmaturities vary so much that defining a child’s maturity by calendar age can be misleading
WHAT IS "CHILD LABOuR"?
"Child labor" is, generally speaking, work for children that harms them or exploits them in someway (physically, mentally, morally, or by blocking access to education).
WHERE DO CHILD LABORERS LIVE?
61% in Asia, 32% in Africa, and 7% in Latin America, 1% in US, Canada, Europe and other wealthy nations In Asia, 22% of the workforce is children. In Latin America, 17% of the workforceis children. The proportion of child laborers varies a lot among countries and even regions insidethose countries. See
Child Labour: Targeting the Intolerable,
Geneva, 1998, p. 7; and other ILOpublications."In Africa, one child in three is at work, and in Latin America, one child in five works. In both thesecontinents, only a tiny proportion of child workers are involved in the formal sector and the vastmajority of work is for their families, in homes, in the fields or on the streets." -- Unicef’s 1997State of the World’s Children Report
WHAT CAUSES CHILD LABOR TODAY?
Poverty is widely considered the top reason why children work at inappropriate jobs for their ages. But there are other reasons as well --
not necessarily in this order
:1.family expectations and traditions2.abuse of the child3.lack of good schools and day care4.lack of other services, such as health care5.public opinion that downplays the risk of early work for children6.uncaring attitudes of employers7.limited choices for women"The parents of child labourers are often unemployed or underemployed, desperate for secureemployment and income. Yet it is their children - more powerless and paid less - who are offeredthe jobs. In other words, says UNICEF, children are employed because they are easier to exploit,"according to the "Roots of Child Labor" in Unicef’s 1997 State of the World’s Children Report.The report also says that international economic trends also have increased child labor in poor countries. "During the 1980s, in many developing countries, government indebtedness, unwiseinternal economic policies and recession resulted in economic crisis. Structural adjustmentprogrammes in many countries accentuated cuts in social spending that have hit the poor disproportionately. " Although structural adjustment programs are being revised to spareeducation from deep cuts, the report says, some countries make such cuts anyway because of their own, local priorities. In many countries public education has deteriorated so much, the reportdeclared, that education itself has become part of the problem — because children work to avoidgoing to school. This conclusion is supported by the work of many social scientists, according toJo Boyden, Birgitta Ling, and William Myers, who conducted a literature search for their 1998book,
What Works for Working Children
(Stockholm: Radda Barnen, Unicef, 1998)