Human wellbeing is the recognition that everyone around the world aspires to live well. This disregards a person’s culture, geography, age, religion, political environment and income. It’s defined by the accessibility of people for the things that they need in order to live happy, healthy lives. However certain issues like natural disasters, human trafficking and child labour can prevent people from reaching this contented life. This inquiry shall specifically review the issue of child labour, it’s causes, impacts and responses. Child labour occurs worldwide and is an ongoing issue that needs to be stopped. It’s important to recognise that ‘child labour’ has many faces and the worst forms include slavery, soldiering, prostitution and drug trafficking. Geographical inquiry questions important to this issue and will be answered in this investigation include, ‘why does child labour exist?’, ‘how does child labour affect the futures of these children?’ and ‘how and what are people doing in order to help these children and stop this issue?’.
HOW EXPOSURE TO CHILD LABOUR AFFECTS FUTURES
In many ways, exposure to child labour can affect a child mentally and physically, it affects their beliefs in human rights and basically steals an important part of every person’s life, childhood. Besides being denied any education, child labour can fundamentally prohibit a child’s personal development, emotional support form their family and limits their social skills. This only adds to the physical and mental/ psychosocial effects of this labour that children as young as five could be experiencing. Physical labour would involve common body injuries and limb mutilations due to a badly kept machinery in farms and factories. Plantations have many machete accidents and dangerous hazards in general for work places like mining, ceramic and fireworks manufacture for any child. Agricultural labour can also have it’s life-changing effects because it statistically has higher rates of injury, children are forced to work with dangerous machines and sharp tools. They are also exposed to pesticides which in Sri Lanka, kills more than diseases like diphtheria, malaria, polio and tetanus combined. Globally, there is 40,000 deaths due to pesticides and chemical work year.
Such harsh working circumstances could only get worse as labourers don't have access to proper clean water and hygiene facilities like toilets. Exposure to child labour can cause growth deficiencies, making children shorter and lighter due to the rapid skeletal growth therefore have smaller statures in adulthood. They have higher chemical absorption rates, lower heat tolerance and are left underdeveloped due to exhaustion and malnutrition. Long-term health issues can be contracted from this work including respiratory disease, asbestosis and a variety of cancers due to the exposure of chemical work. Each year, over a million children are forced into prostitution and they commonly contract HIV/AIDS, fall pregnant, become drug addicts or become mentally ill. Exposure to child labour can lead to major mental and psychosocial effects. This includes limiting their learning and social abilities, as well as their ability to assess risks. The worst forms of child labour especially (slavery soldiering, prostitution,drug trafficking) can leave them with the long- lasting effect of trauma on their mental health and socioeconomic effects.
Child labour is an issue in today’s modern world that greatly hinders people’s human wellbeing and ability to achieve happy lives. Poverty and lack of access to education play a huge role in why it exists in today’s society, especially in lower economically developed countries, forcing families to have to rely on a child’s income just to attain basic necessities. Labour from a young age essentially steals a person’s childhood, in which no one has the right to do so. The physical and mental toll on the body and mind of these children can really be detrimental for their health and could affect them for the rest of their lives, making futures and self development seem unlikely as the cycle keeps going. However the world is nonetheless taking action, organisations like the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour work to slowly eradicate child labour though education. Other non-government organisations and events are used in order to raise awareness and to fight for the rights of wellbeing. Current responses to this issue in my opinion aren’t prominent enough to motivate normal people like me to want to take action to help these children. However this could also just because of my geographical place in the world and shows how Australia does interact with the rest of the world. Possibly if the independent organisations could get more funds from allied countries to help the LEDC countries of the world, we’d be on step closer to gaining peace on earth and human wellbeing for all. In my opinion, wellbeing could improve though awareness. If everyone in this world at least knew the definition of human being and what their rights are as a person, everyone around the world would learn to fight for themselves to live that happy life.
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