What Are the Negative Effects of Child Labor?
There are numerous negative effects of child labor, which impacts nearly 1 in 10 children worldwide. Almost half of these children are involved in hazardous work and experience hazardous consequences, endangering their health and development.1 Here are some of the negative effects they experience:
Delays in cognitive development.
Education gives a child the opportunity to advance their cognitive development. Children need consistent play and interactions with their peers to develop the ability to learn, explore and reason. They often learn how to talk to each other and make thoughtful decisions at school. When kids are forced to work, this development is hindered.
Risk of injury and illness.
Children in child labor are often in hazardous work environments. For example, children who work in agriculture encounter pesticides and other chemicals, and children who work in factories can be injured by machinery. The International Labor Organization estimates 2.78 million work-related deaths annually and 374 million injuries and illnesses each year. According to ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, “Children and young workers are at greater risk and suffer disproportionately and with longer-lasting consequences.”2 The World Bank agrees with the severity. They estimate that 10 percent of all child labor-related injuries are crushing accidents, amputations and fractures.3
It deprives children of their potential.
When children are surrounded by caring adults, especially in an educational or spiritual environment, they learn how to dream about the future. When children are in a child labor situation, their present circumstances are all-consuming. It’s difficult to dream of breaking the cycle of poverty when all a child sees is poverty with no way out.
Child labor impacts a child’s spiritual formation.
Children in child labor often live away from home or they work every day. This keeps them from going to church and learning about God.
GFA World provides a positive alternative for desperate families who may be facing the difficult decision of sending their children to work so they can contribute to the family’s meager income rather than completing their education. Through child sponsorship, children and their families receive essentials such as clean water, nutritious food, educational help and more, which alleviates the family’s financial burden. Additionally, parents may receive income-generating gifts or vocational training to empower them to better provide for their families. These alternatives keep children in school and out of the workforce, away from child labor’s negative effects. Join us in this mission today!
2 Schein, Lisa. ”Half the World’s 152 Million Child Laborers Do Hazardous Work.” Voice of America. https://www.voanews.com/a/half-the-world-s-152-million-child-laborers-do-hazardous-work/4432362.html. June 10, 2018.
3 Graitcer, Philip L. and Lerer, Leonard B. “Child Labor and Health: Quantifying the Global Health Impacts of Child Labor.” World Bank. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/763941468764713568/pdf/multi-page.pdf. November 1998.