Children are individuals who cannot make responsible decisions and many times take decisive actions in situations that affect them whether directly or indirectly as a result of their intellect at its developing stage. For these reasons, they are placed in the care of older relatives, and foster homes who are tasked with the responsibility of nurturing them into intellectually advanced persons that promote positivity in society.
In many cases around the world, a lot of children have been coerced into engaging in activities that threaten their development into adulthood, and this is known as child labour. Child labour is the involuntary engagement of a child in activities ranging from child prostitution to hawking, slavery, pickpocketing, employment in hazardous environments, and many others that negatively have dire consequences.
In this part of the world, it is gradually becoming a norm, especially in the northern part of the country and consequently increasing the number of out-of-school, most parents even go as far as withdrawing their wards from school and engaging them in these activities thereby risking the advancement of education. Globally, there are over 160 million children who engage in child labour with a possible risk of an increase as a result of global pandemics and natural disasters. The effects of this vice do not only affect the appearance of these children but as well influence their mental health thus leading to abuse and early consumption of dangerous substances.
The causes of child labour are not limited to unemployment but rather extend to poverty, societal crisis, high demand for cheap labour, continued dwindling of the educational system, an increase in the cost of living, lack of implementation of child protective laws and the list goes on. The results of child labour are continued loss of potential for community development, teenage pregnancy, increase in drug abuse, portrays a negative image of a country, an increase in mental health issues, possible physical disability, and ultimately death.
When children are less catered for, the future of a country stands at great destruction, therefore, we need to engage in practical solutions to bolt away from the wrath of child ignorance; these solutions include stringent enforcement of laws that protect children, encourage education, particularly in rural areas and third world countries, prevent possibilities of a recurring pandemic, provide a support system that enables small businesses to thrive thereby reducing poverty, boosting the economy of a nation, support NGOs and charity foundations that promote childcare, advocacy against child labour, arrest of individuals who contribute to increasing of child abuse.
Whilst the government makes efforts to tackle this problem, every individual has a responsibility to perform. The consequences of this plague may not presently be glaring to our faces but encompass eventual risk to the children and society. There is an unavoidable need to act now and protect the children or risk the eventualities of our ignorance.