"Child Labor is work that deprives children of their childhoods, their potential and their dignity, and which is harmful to physical and mental development (Jakarta Times)."
Child labor does not only exist in developing countries but also in developed and advanced societies. However, it is more prevalent in countries that lack the basic resources to provide quality education and life to its citizen.
According to an article by Djoko Subinarto of Jakarta Times there are 2.3 Million child laborers in Indonesia raging from ages 7 to 14 years old. These Indonesian child workers usually come from poor and poverty-stricken families who could not afford to send their children to school or even have three complete meals a day. Many are also subdued to lack of health care, and rights to his/her childhood. There are many different form of child labor. First, there is family-oriented type of labor. This ranges from debt-caused labor to forced labor in exchange for something that a poor family needs. Another one that is more prevalent in developing countries is child prostitution which violates the child's privacy and human rights. Finally, the last one is the usage of children workers in illegal drug activities usually by drug dealers and syndicates. Although the number of child workers that submit to labor is mainly because of poverty, there are also some who choose to work at an early age as a result of neglect by their parents. Whichever way a child starts work, it is still illegal and the society and the government should pay more attention to this global epidemic problem that we have today. We can slowly achieve this by providing quality and free education to our children which in turn could greatly contribute to the eradication of poverty and eventually, child labor.
Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia that is considered to be one of the fastest-growing economies in the region. However, the alarming rate of its child workers is just one example of how our globalizing societies have a lot more issues to solve. Approved policies and laws of the government should be carried out without delay in order to stop child labor not only in developing countries but also in highly-developed ones.
Trisha May Antonio
September 17, 2013