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Child Labor in Africa - Research Paper Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Introduction The International Labor Organization defines child labor as all forms of work by children below the age laid down in the standards of ILO. Generally, although it is subject to some exceptions this age is 15 years or the age at which a child completes compulsory schooling…
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Child Labor in Africa
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"Child Labor in Africa"

Download file to see previous pages According to Andvig, child labor refers to labor carried out by believably too young children, which means that by so doing, they unduly decrease their current economic welfare or their income earning capabilities in future, either by decreasing their own individual productive capabilities in future or by contracting their future external choice sets (3). In Africa, children’s work is a generally accepted part of childhood. A household framework wherein children’s work is used to profit parents as well as the extended family network, to secure training and socialization opportunities as well as sustenance for its members is prevalent in Africa. Child labor, in the African context, is deemed as vocational education, especially where children work together with their parents in the rural setup. A long history of domestic and agricultural work by children in numerous parts of Africa exists (Bass, 20-22). Besides education, Africans view child labor in terms of instilling knowledge and responsibility of a way of life or of a trade. Particularly in the rural areas, child labor in Africa, rather than create a negative connection, presents itself historically as a method of useful training as well as social reproduction for children. Child labor is therefore a historically key part of childhood in African rural, subsistence agricultural areas. It also embodies a crucial part of overall production in the rural setups whereby parents bear many children because they can be profitable economically. Just like in the rural areas, children’s work in African urban areas is a natural extension of the indigenous educational system. While girls work in the domestic setting, boys work in the apprenticeship system. Parents usually foster their children to strangers, extended family members as well as religious leaders in urban areas. They do this with the intention of providing training opportunities for their children as well as future opportunities for other family members to migrate to urban areas. Moreover, if a child becomes established in the urban area, his/her whole family profits because he/she may help the others and they all send remittances back home. Fostering however exposes some children to situations that are potentially exploitative, especially if there is no parental supervision (Bass, 22-23). D'Andrea explains two types of child labor in Africa, the first one being trafficking of children. This involves the transportation, recruitment, receipt or transfer of a child for the purposes of labor, slavery, sexual exploitation or forced labor. The recruitment of these children is on untrue promises of employment and education and they are transported in risky conditions. Areas where trafficking is common include Burkina Faso, Benin, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Togo, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Niger. The other type of child labor is bonded child labor whereby a family receives payment in advance in order to hand over a child to an employer. The United Nations notes the fact that Africa, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa where children constitute almost one-half of the population, has the highest number of working children in the world as a proportion of the child population. The continent has roughly 80 million child workers and by the year 2015; this number could increase to 100 million. Citing statistics from International Labor Organization ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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