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Child Labour Essay Writing Guide

Academic writing

Essay paper writing


Essays on child labour are relevant because this topic remains a serious problem. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), over 250 million children in the world are engaged in work activities that impede their development and education. Many of them are involved in the worst forms of child labour that cause irreversible physical and psychological harm or even threaten their lives.

Review of the problem for an essay on child labour

Since 1950s, Children’s Day is celebrated every year on June 1. Its main goal is to draw attention to the problems of childhood and to promote children’s well-being.

It’s easy to deprive a kid of something, or vice versa, to impose responsibilities not corresponding to his or her age because children can’t defend themselves facing the pressure of adults.

Exploitation is the usage of results of another person’s labour, that is, the situation when a person receives nothing or much less than he or she deserves in exchange for work. Such behavior is unlawful and unfair to people of any age, but in the case of children, it acquires special significance.

A child labour essay for high school should be focused on the following problem: the most vulnerable members of society can’t stand up for themselves, do not know where to turn for help, and easily become victims of manipulation and intimidation. Work that is not appropriate to age, especially in harmful conditions, jeopardizes the health of children and deprives them of opportunities to obtain education. Moreover, child labour provokes serious and sometimes irreparable harm to the kid’s physical and psycho-social development.

This phenomenon exists around the world, both in developed and developing countries. The most vulnerable group – children from low-income or song-parent families, both in rural areas and in the cities, are involved in the labour which is not intended for a young age. These children are forced to work in dangerous and harmful conditions for obtaining income. Moreover, they have very limited access to education, health services, and material goods.

There is a vicious circle that may be described in effects of child labour essays: attracting kids to work worsens their prospects in terms of obtaining an education, which, in turn, affects further employment. Ultimately, child labour has a negative impact on the development of human resources and the overall socio-economic progress of the country.

This problem is observed in all productive and non-productive economic sectors: agriculture, small-scale trade in local markets, etc. In the markets, for example, child labour is used mainly for sorting fruits and vegetables as well as loading works (teenagers may perform the duties of carriers). Besides, sometimes minors are exploited as beggars.

In addition, according to the International Labour Organization, there has been an increase in the involvement of children in commercial sex exploitation and the activities of criminal groups.

In order to be fully aware of the problem, it’s worth getting acquainted with the most important international documents and mention them in a small essay on child labour. For example, in 1989, the UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is stated in the document that each child should be protected from performing work that may pose a threat to health or interfere with his or her education, damage health as well as physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social development.

Countries participating in the Convention take measures to comply with these provisions. For example, they establish a minimum age for admission to work and regulate the working conditions and the duration of the working day for minors.

child labour research paper

Historical background for a child labour research paper

Of course, the exploitation and the imposition of harmful and inappropriate for age duties started a long time ago. However, it may be stated in an essay about child labour that over the past 50 years, the situation in this area has improved significantly.

In the past, people were mostly interested in how many workers were in the family. A detailed periodization (a child, a teenager, a young person) was absent in those days.

With the development of cities and educational institutions, issues of childhood began to be discussed. But even at that time, many children and young people did not have access to education.

Kids from poor families began to work early; they had to help their parents in artisan workshops, serve aristocrats in rich houses, sell various products, and clean shoes. If we speak about orphans, this group of children had no one to rely on at all. Writing a “what is child labour?” essay, it’s useful to cite examples from real life and literature. A typical ‘career’ of a street boy is described in Oliver Twist: work in the undertaker’s office and theft with a gang of pickpockets. Charles Dickens gave his hero a chance for wonderful salvation as it often happens with the heroes of novels about children of a hard lot.

However, the real prototypes of Oliver Twist, as a rule, were less lucky than the main character. The life of children from the villages also was not easy. They helped their parents in harvesting or building, were engaged in domestic work, and nursed younger sisters and brothers. Some tasks were specially intended for children. For example, a young chimney sweeper could get into places not accessible for the adult.

The girls worked as nannies, seamstresses, and laundresses or sold flowers, matches, and vegetables. In addition, they had to perform household duties. In a world without washing machines, vacuum cleaners, synthetic materials, and household chemicals, it was not easy even for adult women. For example, hot water was brought in buckets to any floor of the house, all surfaces in the house were cleaned with a cloth, and all things were repaired in the dim light of a candle. Children could also get into workhouses where they helped their parents in hard labour conditions or worked by themselves. Workhouses were a nightmare of the urban poor. Many people believed that it’s better to beg than to work at production enterprises or coal mines.

To write persuasive freedom and child labour essay, you may refer to the works of famous researchers. For example, historian Henry Gibbings, author of The Industrial History of England, wrote that children worked in extremely harsh conditions.

By the way, note in reasons for child labour essay that for a long time, symbolic attributes of childhood (spontaneity, games and toys, naivety, creative thinking, neglecting the rules) were not approved in XVIII-XIX centuries. The traits that were welcomed included adulthood, intelligence, and the ability to speak and behave like an adult. These qualities were preached by the philosophers of the Enlightenment among the younger generation.

In the Modern Era, a different understanding of childhood began to form. It presupposed the concern for the health of the children as well as attention to their physical development and morality. In the XIX century, Ernest D’Hervilly wrote the book about the prehistoric boy. The author believed that the living conditions became easier for children. In many respects, this is true. The prehistoric child could eat raw meat and had no clothes to wear. But still, the conditions of the XIX century were very far from the current state of affairs. By the way, you may use this example in the introduction of your “exploitation of child labour” essay.

Gradually, the world moved from the model ‘ideal children = little adults’ to the notion of childhood as a period of considerable significance. Over time, economic conditions have changed, and the kids did not have to seek ways of early earnings. A more promising parent investment was the education of a child.

It is a good idea to provide a vivid comparison of modern life conditions as well as ones of previous centuries in the course of the essay writing on child labour. For example, before, children were born almost every year. But today, in developed countries, the appearance of a baby is a conscious and important decision.

The idea of ​​‘cultivation’ of kids emerged as the critical attitude to own culture in western society. Some principles of education and upbringing were considered as repressive by researchers. According to the philosopher Michel Foucault, the school of Age of Enlightenment worked hard to equalize and suppress the personality in the same way as a prison or a psychiatric hospital. Separate disciplines studying the problems of childhood and adulthood were formed; for example, age psychology and sociology of childhood.

Writing a child labour essay in simple words, it’s worth describing that the modern state of exploitation issue varies from country to country and corresponds to the situation with human rights in general. Even today, there is the exploitation of child labour, and juveniles have heavy domestic responsibilities. So, despite the changing role of childhood, the overall situation is not uniform: while some thirteen-year-olds study at school and do sports, others marry and work hard.

Information for a “Modern problems of child labour” essay

Inform the reader of your awareness on child labour essay that kids are mostly exploited in Asia, Africa, and Latin America today. They still make a significant contribution to the economies of these countries. On the one hand, international agreements on juvenile labour standards are violated. On the other hand, the implementation of the labour ban will mean deterioration in living conditions and hunger for many of these children. In this regard, the situation remains complicated, and the changes are slow.

In India, the number of working kids declined significantly between 1993 and 2005; however, many minors still work. In addition, teenagers are still employed in the industry. Legislation existing since 1986 allowed adolescents to engage in non-hazardous production. In 2013, India adopted a law prohibiting children under the age of 14 to work neither in dangerous nor non-hazardous industries.

Nevertheless, the court decided that children can work together with their relatives or in the family business in order to learn the basics of the profession and useful skills. But it should be stressed in child labour in India essay that, in practice, this means that many kids still manufacture various things and sell them or work as hotel servants, waiters, and cooks.

According to the UNICEF report of 1990, the quality of education in rural areas of India leaves much to be desired. 50% of publicly funded primary schools do not have their own buildings, while 40% even do not have a blackboard. Only a few have books and teaching aids. Moreover, children often do not have enough time to study. Meanwhile, child labour is one of the causes of poverty. After all, it is more difficult to find a job with a decent salary without education.

Considering the example of India, it is possible to identify in a simple essay on child labour the basic social circumstances due to which exploitation exists: the shortcomings of the economy, the cheapness and the demand for labour, the low quality of school education, and the authority of traditional way of life.

Sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation includes coercion to prostitution and filming in pornography. There are many discussions about the decriminalization of prostitution. But in the case of children, there should be no exceptions and amendments. Any form of their involvement in sex work is unacceptable. Nevertheless, according to the UN, more than a million children are involved in prostitution annually. You may include these horrific figures in your essay for child labour.

In addition, in a number of countries, there is a practice of early weddings when girls are socially, emotionally, and physically not ready to marry, but decisions are taken by their families. Both adult women and girls are involved in forced marriages, sale, and inheritance of wives. The cause of child marriages is the unequal gender situation, which can lead to the lifelong subordination of girls and women.

Media exploitation

Sometimes it is easy to expose the exploitation, for example, if the child is engaged in hard and dangerous physical labour to buy some food. In other cases, everything is not so obvious, for instance, when parents force children to pass overly rigid sports training, to take part in beauty contests, or make videos for Youtube in order to receive money. It’s also worth describing such situations in an against child labour essay.

Adults are guided by their own ambitions and desire to earn money at the expense of the child. At the same time, for the other adults, the child becomes an object of entertainment.

At children’s beauty pageants, which are especially popular in America, girls should look like adults, walking on the podium in thematic costumes, bathing suits, and evening dresses. Toddlers & Tiaras is a bright example of such beauty contests. Fortunately, this show was canceled.

A girl is sitting in the armchair for hours while the hairdresser works with her hair, wears uncomfortable clothes, and repeats the same actions many times – all these are difficult tasks for a kid. Moreover, fatigue, possible skin irritations caused by cosmetics, and unhealthy diet are factors of physical harm.

In addition, there is always moral harm. Inappropriate sexualization of children’s images increased attention to the appearance of girls; this way, objectification creates fertile soil for violations of the harmonious development of the individual and the creation of unhealthy ideas about their own personality.

The interest of children in adult affairs is natural. However, such practices are good when they benefit the children, developing their curiosity and playful character. Situations, when children serve the selfish interests of adults, should not be allowed. The author of an essay on stop child labour may state that everyone who deals with kids can attract the attention of public organizations to the problem if he or she notices that something is wrong.

On the UN website, you can get acquainted with the book Our Right to be Protected from Violence. It was written for those who work with teenagers. There are examples of questionnaires that can help to identify cases of violence and find out whether the rights of minors are violated. There are also ideas and plans for talks aimed to reveal violence against children.

Proposals for a “Solution for child labour” essay

It’s worth stating in how to stop child labour essay that addressing this problem, governments should apply protective articles of legislation and toughen them. To reach this goal, a properly planned and organized system of additional urgent, medium-term, and long-term measures is needed, depending on the severity and significance of the problem in the country.

The whole complex of problems associated with the use of child labour can be resolved only on the basis of concerted actions taken by the whole society and aimed at the prevention of further exploitation as well as the liberation of kids from heavy and dangerous work.

Given the fact that many countries do not have the appropriate infrastructure and resources to implement large-scale programs to eradicate child labour and provide parents with higher wages, the following strategy may be proposed in a “say NO to child labour” essay: it is first necessary to eradicate the worst forms of child labour and then move on to a phased implementation of the national program for the resolution of the problem.

A step-by-step strategy to describe in the prevention of child labour essay

Although more and more countries agree with the need to completely prohibit the use of child labour and take certain steps in this direction, rapid changes can’t be expected, since this problem is rooted in the cultural and economic structures of society.

Political reforms and programs related to such areas as legislation, education, labour market management, social protection, and healthcare may be described as main ways out in a child labour essay for college students. The implementation of political reforms should be carried out simultaneously with the work aimed at changing the attitude of society to issues related to the struggle to prohibit child labour because these areas are interrelated.

The growth of public awareness and social mobilization lead to a change in the perception of the problem of child labour, which, in turn, provokes changes in policy. Among the known methods of reforming, education is most conducive to the eradication of child labour. However, improvements in the educational sphere are not enough, since the most dangerous and difficult kinds of work are performed mainly by children from the least protected in social and economic terms families. Such children rarely have the opportunity to study, and the situation will not change even if education becomes more accessible. You may use this fact as an argument for your child labour essay on a social problem.

Children from low-income families work because their earnings are of great importance for the survival of the family. They continue to work because their parents’ wages are not high enough to meet the basic needs of the family. Thus, for successful and effective implementation of programs to combat child labour, measures in the sphere of education must be accompanied by radical changes in the areas of regulation of the labour market and social protection.

You may mention the following changes in an “about child labour” essay:

  • development of legislation regulating child labour;
  • the creation of effective labour inspection as well as an independent and competent legal system;
  • the development of measures incenting employers to abandon the use of child labour.

Local municipal councils and non-governmental organizations should take measures to provide the poor with the opportunity to earn a normal wage by creating jobs and programs to combat poverty. Among the main measures are encouragement and development of small business, increase of the minimum wage, etc.

When describing supportive programs in a “let us stop child labour” essay, it is important to take into account that the measures listed above should provide adult workers with a normal income and the opportunity to educate their children, instead of promoting the spread of child labour along with the labour of adults. When creating extended programs of social and economic development affecting both the children and their families, officials have to pay special attention to the needs of working kids. By the way, here is an idea for child labour thesis writing: conscious and systematic efforts should be made to draw attention to the needs of working children and to develop appropriate support programs that will really facilitate the lives of youth both in the near future and in the long run.

Incidentally, let’s consider the phenomenon of poverty, which definitely contributes to the spread of child labour. The following definition of poverty was given in the Human Development Report for 1998 which was prepared by specialists of the United Nations Development Program: this concept is broader than simply the absence of a minimum set of prerequisites for maintaining an adequate level of material well-being; poverty can also mean the lack of basic opportunities and choices in the field of human development, the inability to live long, to lead a healthy way of life, and the lack of the ability to maintain own dignity and self-esteem. It’s worth stating in a “define child labour” essay that the problem under consideration contradicts all these values. Therefore, the comprehensive measures should be taken in order to eliminate poverty.

The positive side of child labour

The phenomenon of child labour may be recognized as negative only if it harms a child’s mental or physical state. However, not all forms of adolescent labour can be called exploitation. So it’s worth not considering the teenage work too skeptically. You can write about the reverse side of this issue in a positive and easy essay on child labour.

The significance of labour in the development of personality is universally recognized. Engagement of a child in collective labour contributes to the assimilation in social relations. This fact might serve as good argument of such a controversial topic as child labour for a research paper.

Moreover, labour plays a great role in the development of the child’s abilities. They progress mainly under the conditions of the leading activity such as games, studies, and vocational training.

If you’re going to write an essay on child labour, considering it from a positive perspective, it’s worth taking into account that the role of work in the development of thinking is great. Taking part in the labour process, the child fundamentally changes the perception of their own personality and the world around. You can also choose an interesting theme from compare and contrast essay topics list.

A very important point in the system of labour education is that it makes it possible to reveal the natural inclinations of the child most fully and vividly. You may propose the following child labour essay thesis: analyzing the readiness of a teenager to work life, teachers and parents have to think not only about what he or she can give to society but also what labour gives to him or her personally. Certain abilities are hidden in each child, and the correct organization of the work can facilitate their disclosure.

The solution to many issues of labour education of the younger generation essentially depends on a correct understanding of the functions, goals, and psychological content of child labour. The work of a schoolchild has its own specifics. For example, child labour exists primarily for educational goals.

Since youth employment is not identical to the education or the labour activity of adults, it’s possible to single it out as an educational-labour activity which should not occupy the leading position in the life of highschooler. You may push forward the following proposal in advantages of child labour essay: the curriculum should prescribe the vocational training. After graduation, a teenager can already have a specialty that gives him or her preconditions for rapid adaptation in any future work sphere.

Outline for the short essay on child labour

Whether your child labour essay short or long, there is a classic structure that you should adhere to. Even if you need to write only one page of text, these three elements are the foundation of your paper:

  • Introduction where the author presents the main idea of the work and puts forward a thesis statement which should be proved further.
  • In the main part, several less significant statements (theses) can also be presented. Each of them must be proved by arguments. It is recommended to allocate a paragraph for each thesis.
  • In conclusion, it is necessary to sum up all the arguments and ultimately convince the reader in the idea expressed in the introduction.

Moreover, justifying the theses, the author can present bright examples from life, quote famous writers, ask rhetorical questions and answer them. Of course, a long essay on child labour will be more detailed.

We hope that this article was interesting to you. Use the information presented to write the best child labour essay. Good luck!


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