How Child Labor Affects Education
According to the International Labor Office, there are 152 million children in child labor worldwide; that is 1 in 10 children.1 Child laborers are often forcibly employed in fields, mines, ports and other industries. They work long, labor-intensive hours, often with no breaks and for minimal pay. These jobs may expose children to hazardous chemicals and materials, crowded workspaces and abuse. Employers may deprive children of food, sleep and even medical care to motivate them to work.2
Child labor is detrimental to children’s physical, mental and emotional health. Moreover, child labor affects children’s school attendance and future opportunities. The ILO demonstrates how child labor affects education. According to research from the ILO, almost 32% of child laborers no longer attend school.1 Child laborers who can attend school are frequently absent or fall behind in their homework and classwork. Children should not be forced to split their time between dangerous labor and the classroom.
Education is crucial to the growth and success of children worldwide. Education builds confidence in children and offers them opportunities to learn, grow and hope. If children can graduate from secondary school, that increases their chances of working jobs with better pay than their parents and even looking for greater opportunities.
Many families must choose between paying the expenses to send their children to school and feeding their families. School books, supplies, uniforms and tuition can be too expensive for families living in poverty. In a South Asian village, dozens of children joined their parents to make 1,500 bricks daily in a brick factory.3 Some families are too poor to send their children to school. Other families do not understand the importance of education because the parents also did not attend school.
On World Day Against Child Labor, GFA workers distributed school supplies like notebooks, pencils and erasers. The workers told the villagers about the importance of school. When families received the information and supplies for school, many families started sending their children to school. Education provides hope and opportunities for children, even in rural villages. However, many families will not send their children to school without the appropriate resources.
Will you become a child sponsor and help protect them from child labor? For $35 a month, you can help children, their families and their communities break the cycle of poverty. Through your sponsorship, children feel loved, wanted, hopeful and have the opportunity to go to school and experience God’s love firsthand.
Click here for more information: https://www.gfa.org/sponsorachild/.Learn more about why is child labor bad
1 “Global Estimates of Child Labour.” International Labour Office. 2016. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_575499.pdf.
2 “Child Labor in the Fishing Industry in Uganda.” Cornell University ILR School. Accessed January 2022. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/worst-countries-for-child-labor.html.
3 “Brick Factory Child Laborers Given School Supplies.” GFA World. 22 August 2019. https://www.gfa.org/pray/current-requests/child-laborers-given-school-supplies/.
* Cover Photo: “Child labor”. UNAMID. https://flickr.com/photos/unamid-photo/9172806125/ (CC BY-NC 2.0)