Church’s Point of View on Child Labor

Child Labor is having children working at a young age. Usually child labor isn’t just working children, it’s overworking them. They make these poor children work for hours and hours a day, sometimes the whole day. These kids work and while they work they barely get any food, if they even get food. They also have to work in absolutely horrible conditions. They make them meet a certain and hard to acquire quota everyday. If they don’t meet the quota, they don’t get paid anything at all for a whole day they worked, although they don’t get paid much anyway. According to the Child Rights-The Progress of Nations says “Some work from 6 in the morning until 7 at night for less than 20 cents a day.” They make them work all of these hours and don’t give them anything for it. They take advantage of these families that need the money, for food or other items they need. They do this because they’ll work for anything. These companies are cruel; they make millions and billions of dollars from their products that the child labor children produce. The companies could be paying all of these people a lot more money because of all of the products profit that they make, but they don’t because poor families will work for less. The company takes advantage of that. These companies are greedy and ruthless.

Child labor occurs when families are so desperate that they will allow and maybe even force their children to work to provide more income for their family. These families need money for everyday items. They need food and water to survive; they also need other objects and things to keep themselves clean and keep their hygiene at a good state. This is important so they don’t catch a sickness or disease.

Child labor started a long time ago. It has been used throughout time again and again. Child labor began in the United States early 1800’s late 1700’s. These families needed their child to work so that the family could survive. The United States seems less important when compared to other countries and the amount of child labor they use. According to Snohomish County Labor Council labor history says “In 1972, the International Labor Organization estimated that there were 150 million children working worldwide. At that time, estimates presented by other organizations were four to five-fold greater. Today (1993) there are over 200 million children who labor.” Child labourers did many types jobs according to a graph done by World Vision. Most of the child labourers were in the agricultural industry. This job is done out in the heat and sun all day.

They could be working in fields with crops growing fruits are vegetables. They also could be have been the one who cares for and looks after the animals. They would have to feed them and do all the things necessary for the job. The second most were working in retail and services. These kids doing this work would serve and deliver food. They would also transport goods and other trade places it needed to be. They would work at hotels and restaurants. Third were doing industry and manufacturing, and domestic work. These two were close in their numbers. Industry work was working in the mines or building and doing construction. It also is working and manufacturing things in factories that would then be sold for profit. Domestic work was cooking and cleaning and also taking care of other household things. They would also have to take care of their children if there were children in the house. This job may not seem that bad, btu this job was out of the public eye. This job, being closed off, meant children could have been being abused in different ways. Last was the section labeled other. This was basically any other work being done by children.

Examples of some factories would be some in the 1900’s children were working in many factories, specific ones called canneries. Pictures were taken of these horrible places where the children worked. They were young kids, all dirty from working. They looked wore and exhausted. They were carrying crates of cans that looked too heavy for them. These areas were compacted with children and it was very unclean place, especially for children. Kids didn’t just work here, but a different place, dirtier and even more dangerous place. In the 1900’s they made small children work in the mines. They would work in little black holes all day long, through the summer and the winter. They would work all day long, from early in the morning till is was too dark to see anything at night; they would do this all week and would only get paid one, two or three dollars for a whole week! While they worked throughout the day they wouldn’t even say a word. They also had coal continuously flowing in.

They also had pictures taken and they were tired and covered with black, from the coal, all over their bodies. Many of the children working couldn’t even read or write, they were just throwing their lives away in these cold and dark rooms. After a long day of work they are too exhausted for anything else, all they want to do is sleep. They also had glass factories where children were constantly being harmed and injured. The factory owners blamed all that happened to on the children saying they aren’t attentive and that they were being lazy when they were working. They also had textile factories where children were also constantly in danger. Their body parts were getting stuck or caught in machines and were being torn off. Accidents occurred very offend and were life changing, not in a good way. If you didn’t die, you were seriously injured. According to Scholastic “A child with a factory job might work 12 to 18 hours a day, 6 days a week, to earn a dollar. Many children began working before the age of 7, tending machines in spinning mills or hauling heavy loads… By 1810, about 2 million school-age children were working 50- to 70-hour weeks. Most came from poor families. When parents could not support their children, they sometimes turned them over to a mill or factory owner. One glass factory in Massachusetts was fenced with barbed wire ‘to keep the young imps inside.’ These were boys under 12 who carried loads of hot glass all night for a wage of 40 cents to $1.10 per night.”

In the 19th century child labor was shown to be increasing in use and popularity in Europe and North America. Then it decreased when we entered into the 20th century. Countries in the west also had a strong demand for child labourers. Then they came to work against it as well.

Child labor is most popular in Nigeria, Burundi, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, Myanmar, DR Congo, Somalia, and Eritrea. Most of these countries have child labor because of how bad the poverty is. The families need money, the only thing that is wrong is that they should not be using their children to get it. They shouldn’t even want that life for their children. They should want them to grow in thrive and learn, and if that’s not possible where they are they should try to send them off somewhere better. They should give them their best shot, it might be sad but it will give them a better life and a better future. One without suffering and pain. They shouldn’t want to hold their children back. They should find another way. Sometimes I know this isn’t possible, but still these people should not stoop to this level of lowliness, to put your kid through something like that. This is something that they don’t even understand. It’s not the kid’s fault so the kid shouldn’t be put through all of this.

Child labor is a horrible, it’s horrible because it affects children lives drastically. This labor affects the mental state and it also affects their physical state too. It affects the child’s education because they don’t have time to go to school. This can also affect the children in making money for the rest of their lives. If this happens then their children will be forced to do the same and then they’ll grow up to be poor with no education and then their kids will have to go through this same thing. It never ends. We have to put all of this to a stop.

The Roman Catholic Church’s point of view on child labor is that it is morally wrong. They believe that children should be cared for and that we should take care of them until their bodies are grow and can take care of themselves. We should get them an education and should be able to have them grow as a human being. They think that we shouldn’t push them to work before their bodies aren’t fully nourished. According to The Tablet “Pope Francis has issued a clarion call for a renewed and united global effort to eliminate the root causes of child slavery after the United Nations estimated that 168 million child labourers are being exploited by all manner of industries from agriculture to manufacturing.” The Pope wants peace. He wants the world to stop taking away people’s main rights, especially the right of education. He also believes that young children should not be put in danger like they are when they are forced to work. According to The Tablet “the Pope said in an address marking the World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June.”

Many organizations and companies want to end child labor because they know it’s wrong and such a horrible thing. They try their best to get rid of it all together. They have events and days designated to ended this terrible reality that’s happening in our world.

Many objects and things we use in our daily lives are made from child laboring manufacturers. The phones that we all need everyday, those minerals in that were used to make that phone were harnessed by little children that work in the mines. Apple, Samsung, and Sony were all confronted about failing to check where their resources came from and were asked to double check and make sure they aren’t from the child laboring companies. Examples of other everyday items we use that are made from child labor are sugarcane that we use in our food, cotton that we wear everyday, coffee that we drink every morning and some people multiple times a day, tobacco which some people use everyday, rice that we eat in many of our meals, fish that is a big part of our meals as well. We also use bricks, garments, textiles, footwear, carpets, and some people’s favorite, fireworks.

Companies that we use to this day use child labor manufactures as their resource suppliers. Companies like Nestle, H&M, Philip Morris, Walmart, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Apple, Disney, Forever 21, and Hershey’s. All these companies are companies that millions and even billions of people use and buy from every single day. We might not know but we are supporting child labor just by purchasing these products.

We may not think this is a huge world wide problem but it is. There as many as one hundred sixty-eight million children as slaves right now in our world. That is eleven percent of the child population in the world. There is child labor going on right now. It can be found in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia and they are doing all the dangerous, hard working that they have been doing because no one is willing to stop it. The most child laboring occurs in Africa, the Philippines, Vietnam, Latin America, and Indonesia; it is occurring all over the globe.

To solve this problem I believe that we should not allow companies to buy resources from child laboring manufacturers. I also think that people should look into what they are purchasing and not purchase items that support or tolerate child labor. If you do not agree with what is happening then you should take a stand and do something about it. Stand up and act upon what you say and truly believe. If we all do that the companies would have to shut down or hire adult workers for a good amount of money. They’ll be forced to change. I also think that the punishment for child labor should be way worse. The punishment they have now is a payment of up to ten thousand dollars for each employee in violation. I think that it should be up to 3-5 years in imprisonment varying on how bad the case is. The bail should be set so high that they couldn’t pay it or be let out in anyway before they are convicted and punished for their actions. If the punishment was changed I feel like maybe people wouldn’t take that big of a risk anymore. I also think that if people stood their ground on their beliefs that the companies would have to changed their ways so they can stay in business.