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Child Labour and the Need for Education Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Z, China Jun 29, 2007
Human Rights , Education , Child Labour   Opinions


Child Labour and the Need for Education General questions have been laid out before me:
1. Employing a child in hazardous conditions is worse than employing an adult in hazardous conditions. Do you agree?
2. In places where child labour exists, should children be paid the same as adults?
3. Much of the food and drink we consume is produced by child labour in agriculture. What are your thoughts on this?

As I was thinking of how to answer these questions, I came to a point where I realized that these questions and reflections are only the tip of the iceberg. Yes, I do agree that employing children in hazardous conditions is worse than putting adults in a similar situation. But in a society where ones' education, rank, age, sex, and creed (unjustly) determines their work salary, how am I to answer the second question? Should children be paid the same as adults? My opinion on the matter is "no", they should not. Indeed, children in the labour force work in the same conditions as the adults and are employed to do the same job and labour for the same amount of hours; but giving equal payment would encourage parents to put their children in factories, since they would benefit more from it. It will not stop child labour; rather, it will increase.

I like to think of child labour as an offshoot of a larger branch, which is, in turn, the offshoot from another. What is the root of this problem?

Here in China, children are usually forced to work because they haven't a choice: their parents are too poor, the village has no school, a corrupted local government hoards the majority of the money that instead should have gone to the people.
Many farmers are forced off their land that will soon become part of a new highway project. Others leave because their land is no longer productive - which is usually caused by leeching and erosion. Some leave just because prospects in the city sound favourable. When they arrive to the city, they join the slums because there is no other place to go. Everyday they walk from slum to factory and back again. Many are unaware of the opportunities the city can provide; and if they are aware, they usually cannot partake of them. Schools are not free, and if a family cannot pay for the expenses, nobody will care, it's just "too bad for them". Therefore, they take their child to work beside them, or in another factory, so they can earn enough that might just put some bread on the table.

"Consider man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value" is a quote I have seen and heard frequently at home. Sometimes I hear it so often that I forget the underlying meaning of it. Today when I received an email from TIG on child labour, I immediately remembered the above mentioned verse, and concluded that the most important factor that will help us eradicate this malignant problem is education. Education, I thought, is the key to this problem! It is not the branches and twigs of the tree that are infected, but the trunk and the roots. If we cut off the branches this year, the problem will fall into abeyance and then arise with more vigour and strength the next year. Therefore, in order to destroy the problem, we must destroy the roots, and start anew.

In order to destroy the problem, we have to know WHAT the problem is. I myself haven't put much thought into it, but I believe it really has to do with the entire system. Society is like one big ecosystem. Everyone is affected by the actions of another. When a government is corrupted, what sort of a society do you expect them to build? A society where justice and equity reigns? If an organ in the human body is defective, can we expect the entire system to function smoothly? Therefore, we have to start from the grassroots and systematically provide education for every single child, whether they be of different race, sex, or creed. This is the duty of every government, and if the government does not have the means of providing all with education, its other organs (countries) must come and work together to make education possible. Children are like a mine rich in gems of inestimable value: in each child latently lies different talents and abilities and it is through education that they can discover them. When children are deprived of it, not only do they miss out on hundreds in opportunities in life, but we are all deprived.

Through proper education, children can learn the sciences and the arts and contribute to the betterment of society. These children who we see working hard hours in factories all have the potential to positively shape our world. We cannot expect fast results because we are dealing with century-long problems. However, we can slowly ameliorate the problem of child labour by making education available to more and more children.



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My work of poetry and stories come from my viewpoints in life, which is influenced by my culture based in the Middle East and the West. Born in Chile, raised in a family with Persian culture, my life based in China, and the Bahai Faith to guide me, my work can be depicted as a mixture of world cultures.

It takes a village
Wilson | Jul 18th, 2007
I think that denouncing the problem is a concrete action that we can start with. As Z presents the education factor being a priority. One cannot undo massive poverty, but can be part of a mass that can face it.

meddahi | Jul 21st, 2007
من البحر الوافر 01/04/ 2007 الشاعر العصامي مداحي العيد لقد عانــيـتُ أهـــــوالّ الزمان مـن السّـعـد الـذي قـد جـفاني فلم أجـد مـن الـمـــال الوفــيـر الـذي يُـذهـبُ بعـض الأحـزاني ولولا فـضـــــلُ ربّـــي لكــنـتُ كذي الجـهـل أمــــام الخسـران وكـان فـضـــــلُ ربّـــي عـلـيَّ كبيرا بعـد جهـــــلي قـد هـداني بأمّ لا مثـــــــيـل لحُـــــبّـها قـد رعــتــني سـنــــــوات بالحـنان مُربـية مـــــــدارك شُعــــوري بـــتـَــــوجــيـهـاتـها بالإحـسان فكم روت لي القصصَ التي قد سـقـتـني بخـــــيــالات المـعـان عـباراتٌ تـقـــــــولُها بــــــودّ خـلال بُـــــــرهـة مـــن الثّواني وكُـلُّ الأمّـــهـات لهُـنَّ صــدقٌ له حـقـــــــــــــائـقٌ بالبُـــرهان وقد تـكـــفّــلَ الأبُ الكــــــريمُ بشأني دون مـا مــلـل رعـــاني وسانـدَ مـــواهـــــــــبي دوما أمـام القــــوم يــفــخــرُ ببـياني لقـد أحـَــسَّ قـلــبُهُ الرّهــيفُ بـأنّــني ســـــــــــأرقى كالعـنان عـملتُ مـعـهُ أثـــناء شــبابي فـكــان نــشــــــــاطُـهُ كالبُركان جـبالٌ هــدَّها لحـــكــــمة كـي يُشـيّــدوا مـــــــــوانئَ الشُّطآن وزوجــــتي كجوهـرة أشعّـت عـلــيَّ فـي لــيــــــال الحـرمان فلولا صبــــــــرُها لــمَا كُـنتُ أُزاحـــــــمُ أهــــلَ هـــذا الزّمان بأُسلوب يُـفــسّـــرُ هُ اللّـبـيـبُ الذي يــــعــي مـعـــارفَ البيان لهُ ذخـــيـــــرةٌ واســــــعـةٌ قد وعـَــيْــناها مُـهــــــذّبـةُ اللّـسان ومن تلك النُّصوص قد رعينا محاصيلَ العـُقــــــول من المعان بُحورُ العــلم شاســعةٌ فمَنْ ذا الذي يجــمــــــعـُها فــي الأذهان فلا سعـــــــــادةٌ تــــدومُ فـيها ولا يــدومُ حُـــــــــــزنُ الأشجان فلا تــفــرح بـمالـك إن بخـلتَ به عــلـى أهـــــــــــالي الحرمان فيُصــبحُ البخـــــيـلُ رعــديـدا مـن الأزمـــة دائــــــــــما يُعـاني فمالُـك يتحــــوَّلُ ثُـعــــــــبـانا يُطــوّقُـك بحــــــــــبـل العُـدواني بـداخل القُـبــــور ظُـــلـــمةٌ لا ترى فــــــيها مـن النّــور الدّاني لأنَّـك كُــنـتَ مســرورا الفـؤاد تُــفــاخـــــــــرُ بـــمــالــك الفاني تـرى الفـقـيـرَ يشـتـكي سنـينا مــن الـفــقــر أمـــــــام الجمعان فكم لـقـيَ مــن الفـــاقـة طعـنا فـلا تــــــــــراهُ إلا فــي الأحزان فـفاضـت أدمُـــعُ العــيـن منّي صــبـابـةً عـلى الخـــــدّ الحيران ومَـنْ لــم يـتـــأثّـَرْ به كــــيف يقـــولُ عــواطـــــفي من الحنان من العــــــين التي رأيتُها فـي هـضاب قد روتْ عطشَ الحسان فقُلتُ ألا تُـقـــدّمــيـن لــي من شـــراب مـــن عُـيــــــون الريّان فقالتْ أيــن كــــوزُك الأنـــيقُ الذي يغـــــــرفُ مـــــاءَ الوديان فـقُـلتُ لـها ألا فـاســقــني من يـديْــك شَــــربةً مـن الإحسان لأنََّّ يـــديْــك لـــيّــنةُ الكـفَّــين كما الزَّيتُ يُراقُ عـلى الصّبيان ولا يحـلــو لــيَ الشّـــرابَُ إلا إذا شربْـتُ مـن الكـــــوز الثَّاني فلا تحـــلو المـــياهُ ولو كانت بآنـــــــية مُـذهــــــــــبة القيعان ولا تــروقُ لـــي بسـاتــــــينٌ إذا تـغـــيّــَبــتْ عــــــــن المكان إذا ابتسمتْ عن الثَّغر أحــسُّ بـراحـــة بــــــــداخـل الـوجـدان ووجهُـها كــــما القـمـرُ أنــارَ لـيـاليَ المـُحــــبّ مـع الأشـجان وفاضَ الدَمـــــعُ لـمَّا أحـــسَّ بلــــوعة بــــــــــداخــل الجَـنان وفاق حُسنُها حُسـن الشُّموس بجــــــيد أمــلــس مــثـل الدّهان عُيــونُها كــما اللّيــالي سـودٌ ولحــظُـها مُهــــــــذَّبُ الأجـفان فحُسـنُها يُـخــــفّــفُ عـــذابَ القـُلـوب إذا أُصيــبَتْ بالأحـزان الشاعـر العبقري يعرف كيف يُحقق أحلامه الكبيرة ولكن بصدق الشاعر المرهفة وشكرا لمجلة أنهالر الرائدة بحق لأنها تشجع المواهب الحقيقية الشاعر مداحي العيــــــــــيــد الهاتف 046947276 وللحديث بقية....................... .. أشكركم على هذا الإهتمام الذي يفرحنا لأنه يخرجنا من العزلة التي كنا فيها وتلك العزلة إنها أفظع من الفقر لأن الفقر يتعلق بالجسد وقد لا يحتاج المرء في بعض الأحيان إلا خبزة من الخبز يغمسها في فنجان من القهوة كما أفعل أنا في بعض الأحيان ... لا لأنني فقير إ هذه الدرجة ولكنني أحب البساطة في كل شييء في التعامل مع الناس و في اللباس وفي جميع أطوار الحياة أحب البساطة ... لأن البساطة تفتح لي الكثير من الإلهامات التي تساعدني في كتاباتي الشعرية المتنوعة وشكرا لكم على كل هذه المساعدات ..الشاعر العصامي مداحي العيد من الجزائر العزيزة

Child Labour and the Need for Education
mazo | Aug 3rd, 2007
I think that some of the causes of child labor in some places such as Egypt might be due to severe poverty, as well as because some matters relating to the environment and the necessary search for a basket to examine ways to enable the child to access to a minimum of education

Sad reality
Pauline Fogarty | Sep 3rd, 2007
I remember on my trip to Dominican Republic, seeing a man with a gun outside one of the factories. It made me think how much this issue is swept under the rug. I hope you continue getting the word out.

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