Pros and Cons of Child Labor
Employing children when they are so young is characterized as child labor. In India employing children below the age of 14 is a crime punishable either with fine or imprisonment under the Prevention of Child Labor Act. On moral grounds employing children is considered as a sin. However, despite of enforcement of stringent laws for the prevention of child labor, still child labor prevails sporadically in India and elsewhere in the world, though even UN has categorically denounced child labor. But considering child labor as a topic for discussion let us consider the pros and cons of child labor.
Let us consider the Pros first.
a)The general slogan and policy practiced by the companies or employers while recruiting the employees is always ‘Catch them young’. Therefore, they will be doubly happy to engage child labor.
b)The child labor is comparatively cheaper than what the employers are paying to the adult employees and so they save considerably by employing child labor.
c)By employing child labor, employers are doubly benefited by paying low salary but actually they benefit more by extracting equal amount of work from the child labor at par with adult employees.
d)A child who is recruited or employed in a business at a young age, learns the nuances of business and gains organizational skills and above all gets a thorough exposure at so young age. It helps the child to become an entrepreneur when he or she comes of age.For example a child who is employed in a provisional store or an automobile workshop at the young age, after gaining considerable years of experience, starts his own business by becoming a proprietor of a provisional store or an automobile workshop. Therefore, by employing child labor we are actually making prospective entrepreneurs.
e) Employers who extend certain facilities to adult employers like maternity leave etc in the case of women employees need not be extended to the child employees.
f)Child employees do not form trade unions and engage in any harmful activities detrimental to their employers that will sabotage the organization.
g)Children who are orphans have a chance to eke out their livelihood decently by earning through child labor.
Child Labor has got its own demerits also. Let us consider the Cons of child labor.
a)It is a sin to engage or employ the child labor at so young age, because the child is not mentally or physically prepared for it. Therefore, employing child labor is in a way a forced labor.
b)Employers engage the child labor even in hazardous environment like making crackers, match boxes and in building works, exposing the children to greater risks and dangers.
c)Children who are employed in hazardous industries sometimes are afflicted with dangerous diseases like Tuberculosis etc.
d) Children by being engaged in child labor at their young age, are deprived of their legitimate right to education during their childhood. By engaging in child labor, they permanently become illiterate.
e)Children who earn money at so young age are also being exposed to very dangerous social evils like drugs, alcohol and gambling and thus got perverted at so young age.
f)Children do not possess any educational qualification or requisite skill necessary for employment. Hence they are mostly engaged for running errands and works which do not require any skill.
g)Employing child labor is a retrograde step and it will hamper the growth of the society.
h)If we employ more child labor to have short term economical advantages, we will be actually creating a future generation without education or skill or any technical knowledge, that will have its own bearing on the society as well as the country.
Therefore, since the cons of child labor outweigh the pros, it is always better not to commit the sin of engaging the child labor that will spoil not only the concerned child but also the society as well as the country as a whole.