What Are the Emotional Effects of Child Labor?

The emotional effects of child labor are devastating to the healthy development of the child. The International Labor Rights Forum reported in 2011 that children who work experience depression, isolation and insecurities in addition to the physical risks often associated.1

Without the ability to play with friends and have normal adult-child relationships, children do not properly develop socially or emotionally. This can lead to drug dependency, post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health issues.2 If a child is caught into the sex trafficking industry, these effects are even worse.

One study of child laborers out of Brazil reported that

“work during childhood increases the risk of developing depression in adulthood. Family mental health status and chronic physical illness play a substantial role in the risk that child laborers have to develop depression.”3

The Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences blog elaborated in 2016, saying

“Depression, hopelessness, shame, guilt, loss of confidence and anxiety are some of the horrible emotional effects of child labour, leading to a high risk of mental illness and antisocial behavior.”4

Between the physical, emotional and mental effects of child labor, parents must have an option for their children besides sending them to work just for the family to survive. GFA’s child sponsorship program is made to intervene in the lives of children who are most at risk.

For just $35 a month, you can sponsor a child and give them a path to a better future. Children and their families receive community wide solutions such as clean water, nutritious food, tutoring assistance and medical care. These solutions help relieve financial hardship from hard-working parents which makes it less likely they will send their children to work.

GFA missionaries’ hearts are lovingly aligned with the people they serve since they are native to the area. They understand in an intimate way what these families face day in and day out.

Keeping children in school is the best way to break the cycle of poverty for them. Sponsoring a child through GFA can help do that. Help give a child the security they need that will prevent child labor and the emotional scars that they might carry with them for a lifetime. Sponsor a child today.

Learn more about effects of child labor

1 “Developmental Effects of Child Labor.” International Labor Rights Forum. September 26, 2011. https://laborrights.org/blog/201109/developmental-effects-child-labor.
2 Soken-Huberty, Emmaline. “Child labor: What it is and how it is tackled.” Human Rights Careers. Accessed February 24, 2022. https://www.humanrightscareers.com/issues/child-labor-what-it-is/.
3 Aransiola, Temidayo James and Justus, Marcelo. “Child labor hazard on mental health: Evidence from Brazil.” PubMed. June 1, 2018. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29961044/.
4 Khan, Tanveer. “Child labour and its dismal psychological implications.” Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences. June 13, 2016. https://blogs.jpmsonline.com/2016/06/13/child-labour-and-its-dismal-psychological-implications/.
* Cover Photo by ILO Asia-Pacific. https://flickr.com/photos/iloasiapacific/8763370040/.